Negotiators from the European Union and the Mercosur customs union that’s made up of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay are in Brussels on Monday (Dec.11) for what is expected to be their last round of talks before the signing of a free trade agreement between the two blocks.
Officially both sides continue to say they are committed to reaching an agreement before the end of the year. If possible they would like to announce a deal during the current meeting of the World Trade Organization in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
But both sides continue in their traditional tug-of-war: the Europeans want more concessions on government procurement and speedier reductions in tariffs, while Mercosur countries want more access for their farm products.
While countries like Germany have been pushing for swifter negotiations, France has been heeding pressure from its farmers not to give too many concessions on agricultural trade.