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de Brun warning on effects of Mercosur deal

29 November, 2011 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Fein MEP Bairbre de Brun has again signalled her concerns around the effects which any deal between the EU and the Mercusor bloc could have on the agriculture industry locally. Her warning comes after the publication of an impact assessment on any possible deal, carried out by the EU Commission’s Joint Research Council de Brun said”, The EU's impact assessments on Mercosur show that any deal would have devastating affects on our farming industry at a time when our farming industry is already under pressure. Allowing cheap beef imports which have limited traceability and do not meet the EU's animal welfare standards would be a disaster. European consumers expect the highest standards from their meat, and they expect it to comply with EU animal welfare legislation, and allowing a deal with Mercosur is both detrimental to farmers and deceitful to consumers. Outlining the JRC’s conclusions, she said “The finalised assessments of the possible impacts of an EU trade deal with the Mercosur bloc concludes that EU agri-food producers would face significant income losses, with estimates varying from 4.6 billion to 7.75 billion euros, according to different possible scenarios.The studies confirm findings in preliminary assessments that the EU's beef sector would be most severely hit, on the back of a sharp rise in Mercosur imports. Estimates for Mercosur beef imports range from 5000 tonnes in the case of an EU offer with no Doha trade talks deal in place, rising to as much as 524,000 tonnes with the Mercosur request post-Doha. In the latter case, EU beef production would drop by 280,000 tonnes with a loss valued at 4.6 Billion euros. The total loss to the meat sector under this scenario is over 5.8 billion, of which 0.8 bn falls on the poultry sector”. de Brun concluded "This impact assessment highlights what myself and fellow parliamentarians have been saying for some time, that this deal is of great concern to our beef sector, and that if it is to be allowed to go ahead the EU is doing a serious disservice to its farmers”. 

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