Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis on behalf of the European Commission
The EU-Mercosur Agreement is a geopolitically and economically very important agreement. It presents a balanced outcome that creates new opportunities for European farmers and food producers, while at the same time addressing risks of possible market disruptions.
European farmers, businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will gain unprecedented access to the countries of Mercosur, which represent a large market of 280 million people.
The agreement also contains strong trade and sustainable development provisions and is a very strong incentive for Mercosur countries to maintain their sustainable development pledges, including addressing deforestation.
Moreover, as of 2024 when the EU’s forthcoming Deforestation Regulation enters into force, only products that are not associated with deforestation will be allowed on the EU market.
As in other trade agreements, the EU will not fully open its market for imports of agri-food products to protect the interest of European farmers. For sensitive products, access to the EU market will be granted in a limited and strictly controlled way through carefully calibrated quotas which will be gradually implemented, in most cases, as it would be for beef, in six equal annual stages.
Moreover, for the first time ever, the Commission negotiated safeguards which can be activated in case of injury or threat of injury even for products covered by tariff rate quotas (TRQs).