Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has warned that farmers in Louth face a “significant new threat to their livelihoods as a result of the new EU-Mercusor Trade Agreement”.
Gerry Adams described the international agreement between the EU and the four South American nations of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay as a “bad agreement for Louth, a bad deal for the island of Ireland and a bad deal for our farming sector”.
Teachta Adams said:
“The EU-Mercusor Trade Agreement will seriously damage an already struggling Irish beef industry and our rural communities. The farming and agri-food sectors, which already face enormous difficulties as a result of Brexit, will be put under even greater threat as a result of a deal which opens the EU up to cheap beef imports from south America.
Imports of beef from the Mercusor states will rise to almost 370,000 tonnes. Moreover, at a time when the EU and its member states have prioritised climate change this deal will encourage states with a poor record of protecting their environments and a record of deforestation. Farming organisaitons have already expressed their concern that these states do not have the same standards of traceability, animal welfare, or food safety.
The government must vote against this deal when it comes before the EU Trade Council. But crucially, because the Irish government has no veto, and to pass the deal needs just 55% in a qualified majority vote, the government must urgently seek allies in an effort to block this treaty from coming into effect.”
Under Trade Council rules the Treaty requires aQualified Majority Vote. This means that 55% of member states representing at least 65% of the EU population have to vote for the EU-Mercusor Treaty for it to pass. A minority blocking an agreement from going through must include at least four council members representing over 35% of the EU population.