Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest area of Brazil accelerated in the first half of July, outstripping the rate of deforestation during the entirety of the same month last year - and raising red flags for a regional trade deal with the European Union (EU). Over 1,000sq km of the jungle were cleared in the first 15 days of the month – already a 68 percent increase from all of July 2018 - according to preliminary satellite data from Brazil's state-run National Institute for Space Research. The deforestation over the last few weeks constitutes the largest for one calendar month since August 2016, and also follows sharp year-on-year rises in May and June. The Amazon is the world's largest tropical rainforest and scientists consider its protection critical to the fight against climate change. Environmentalists blame rising deforestation in Brazil on new President Jair Bolsonaro, whose policies and rhetoric favour development of the Amazon. The president's office and the … [Read more...] about Accelerating deforestation in Brazil endangers EU trade deal
Eu trade deal
The European Union and South American bloc Mercosur yesterday agreed a draft free-trade treaty, bringing to an end almost 20 years of negotiations. The deal still faces huge hurdles, including pressure from farmers here and elsewhere in Europe, notably France, who will push their governments to veto an agreement that will mean a huge increase in low-cost South American beef allowed into the EU at a very low tariff, along with poultry, sugar and plant-based ethanol. The deal will also eliminate tariffs on orange juice, instant coffee and fruit exports from Mercosur members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay and give greater access for meat, sugar and ethanol. Europe has its eyes on industrial exports - especially cars - currently hit with tariffs of 35pc, and also on big EU firms being able to compete for public tenders in South America. Europe's biggest exports to Mercosur include machinery and chemical and pharmaceutical products. Speaking after the announcement, Agriculture … [Read more...] about Farmers furious as EU trade deal delivers a ‘massive blow’
WASHINGTON — When trade representatives visit me to discuss biotechnology products, often the first thing I do is eat a genetically modified kernel of corn from my farm in New Hartford, Iowa, to show that American biotechnology products are safe for consumers. In Europe, this wouldn’t be possible. As a World Trade Organization panel found, the European Union unduly delays approvals for U.S. agricultural biotechnology. Remarkably, the delays take place even after EU scientists conclude the products at issue are safe. As trade discussions between the United States and the EU move forward, European trade representatives must come to the table on agriculture. European leaders continually claim that their consumers don’t want biotechnology products. With no concrete scientific evidence to support their claims about safety, the EU is simply denying consumers the right to decide what products they want to buy for their families. But biotechnology isn’t the only … [Read more...] about Will corn, chicken and Champagne scuttle a US-EU trade deal?
FILE PHOTO: Nathalie Loiseau, French European Affairs Minister and the head of the Renaissance (Renewal) list for the European elections attends a news conference to launch their campaign with candidates from La Republique En Marche (LREM) political party and partners in Paris, France, March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo PARIS (Reuters) - Nathalie Loiseau, leader of President Emmanuel Macron’s European election campaign, said on Thursday she opposes trade deals with countries which are not signed up to the Paris climate accord, including the United States. “We won’t sign a deal with a country that has exited from the Paris accord,” Loiseau, who quit her job as European affairs minister this week to run for the European Parliament, said in an interview with BFM TV. The European Commission, which negotiates trade deals on behalf of the 28 EU countries, has presented two negotiating mandates to governments for approval, one on reducing tariffs … [Read more...] about France opposes EU trade deals with non-signatories of Paris accord:…
The UK has signed a post-Brexit trade deal with a group of Caribbean countries including Jamaica and Barbados, as ministers scramble to sign as many agreements as possible before leaving the EU. The Department for International Trade said it had signed an economic partnership agreement with the Caribbean forum (Cariforum) of nations, helping to maintain the imports of good including bananas, rum and sugar to Britain. The deal means the government’s push to roll over EU trade deals from which the UK benefits has yielded agreements covering a little more than a third of its trade with the countries involved. After securing agreements with Norway and Iceland earlier this week, ministers have now signed deals covering about £43bn out of the £117bn of annual British trade with the almost 70 countries the EU agreements cover, up from £16bn last month. Signing the deal with the Cariforum on Friday, trade minister George Hollingbery said the agreement would enable Britain … [Read more...] about UK secures post-Brexit trade deal with group of Caribbean countries