Potential Eu-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement Impact Assessment

Before the end of the negotiations, we want the parties to expressly refuse to follow the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDR) mechanisms on any public health or impactal issues. These include intellectual property protection, price regulation, revenue selection and public drug procurement. We also hope that any text adopted will explicitly support the Doha Declaration and will not include measures beyond the TRIPS agreement that could stand in the way of SDG 3.8. This should also apply to other trade agreements currently negotiated by the EC with India, Mexico and New Zealand. The European Union (EU) and Mercosur have been negotiating a free trade agreement for 16 years and talks have begun in the last 15 months. Negotiations are nearing completion and public health advocates, patient and consumer associations, and other interest groups in Europe, North and South America are increasingly concerned. They are right to be concerned about the way in which these discussions have taken place and the impact that some of the provisions purportedly presented by the European Commission could have on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in general and on sustainable access to medicines in particular. „Eups and Mercosur have a right to know what is being discussed and dealt with on their behalf.“ Although the EC stated that it would not seek the IP protection measures contained in the TRIPS, the negotiating text published in November 2016 contained requirements such as the extension of patent protection provisions and data exclusivity (Article 10.2). In addition, reports have suggested that the EC includes additional certificates of protection (CCPs) in the agreement; The TSA is an artificial extension of the patent`s duration and its usefulness is currently being examined by the EC itself, after Member States have expressed their demands and opposition from public health advocates. The Commission is therefore cooperating with the Mercosur countries to make real progress on commitments to the Paris Agreement and deforestation. In December 2020, at ministerial level, Mercosur and the EU reaffirmed their determination to effectively implement the trade agreement and officials stepped up their contacts to define specific and measurable sustainability commitments. The ASA is also concerned about the potential impact of the agreement on the environment, human rights and indigenous peoples. It contains recommendations to minimize these effects.

These issues were at the heart of the EU`s approach when negotiating the agreement. The Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapter provides an appropriate legal framework and appropriate instruments to address these concerns. The ASA notes that the EU`s agricultural sector will also benefit from the agreement. Removing non-tariff barriers and protecting EU geographical indications in Mercosur countries will significantly increase agricultural and food exports. . Despite arguments for transparency and the commitment to greater openness, this agreement was negotiated far from public opinion. Eu and Mercosur citizens have the right to know what is being discussed and negotiated on their behalf, taking into account the potential impact on the lives and well-being of millions of people.