On Friday, the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro proclaimed the glad tidings: The free trade agreement between the South American trade bloc, Mercosur, and EFTA-countries Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland is. “Another great victory for our diplomacy to the Opening of the trade,” the “tropics-Trump” on Twitter.
For Bolsonaro is the perfect date – for Switzerland, it could not be worse. Just hours earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron (41) was informed that France will block the free trade agreement between the EU and the Mercosur countries of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. The Deal was already a done deal. The reason for Macrons sudden turn flickers over the screens of the world: The Amazon rain forest is up in flames.
Since yesterday, the G7 summit meeting in the French Biarritz. The focus of the heads of state and government of the largest industrialized Nations: the fires and the free trade agreement, which the EU concluded in June with the Mercosur countries. Both are closely related: Should Europe trade barriers to Brazilian beef and soy fall, when it is clear that the rain forest is because of fire rodender farmers up in flames?
Germany is covered. Ireland has joined the concerns of the French people on Friday. Finland wants to discuss a ban on the import of Brazilian beef into the EU.
Sommaruga is horrified
And Switzerland? Federal councillor Simonetta Sommaruga (59): “I am appalled by the images of burning rainforest in the Amazon. The Amazon is for the global climate, as well as for the biodiversity is of paramount importance. We need to do all that was humanly possible to save the Amazon.”
What does it mean for Switzerland? Federal councillor Guy Parmelin (59, SVP) called on the sidelines of a press conference yesterday in Zurich, the fires a “disaster”. The blockade of the French are not impressed by the Minister of the economy, but. “Perhaps the agreement of the EU were to be scrapped actually. But if it fails, the Swiss company is a giant problem.”
With the agreement, Switzerland has taken an important step to prevent discrimination against domestic companies compared to European companies. And: There is a Chapter on sustainability in the contract. The aim is that Switzerland ratified the agreement no later than 2021.
From the Swiss economy Parmelin receives a lot of encouragement. For example, the economic umbrella organisation Economiesuisse, welcomed the agreement: “The agreement grants trade hurdles for Swiss companies out of the way, and serious competition avoids the disadvantages compared to the companies from the European Union.”
The Swiss farmers ‘ Union warns, however: “We are extremely sceptical of this agreement,” says President and CVP national councillor Markus Ritter (52, SG) – not only because of the fires. “In Brazil, over 200 very toxic plant protection products are used, which are banned in Switzerland and the EU.”
resistance also comes from the ranks of the Greens. President Regula Rytz (57, BE): “Switzerland vorprescht with a free trade agreement, when in Brazil, the Amazon is on fire, is unspeakable. A worse Timing I can’t imagine.”
Before an agreement with the Mercosur Block is the fact, must of the Treaty by the Parliament. He should take this hurdle, it will with great certainty a Referendum. “The Greens want the brakes on the agreement in Parliament,” said Regula Rytz. If this is not successful is to hold a Referendum. “The Assembly of delegates will discuss the already next Saturday.” She receives support from the SP national councillor Fabian Molina (29, ZH): “A Referendum as a last Option, is certainly conceivable.” That political pressure in the case of Bolsonaro acts actually showed up yesterday: Brazil’s President has – after wochenlagem Hesitate – the army against the forest fires for seven years.
The beginning of the European Union made: On 28. June in Brussels signed a free trade agreement with the Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay). It will be ratified, is produced by far the largest free trade zone in the world. The fear that a country’s exports could lose your in the port, if the European competition could soon be exported duty-free to South America, increased the pressure on the Efta-members – and therefore also to Switzerland, to authorize a private agreement final. This is succeeded on Friday in Buenos Aires. About 95 percent of Swiss exports to the Mercosur countries, with a total of 260 million inhabitants, would be exempt of customs. Last year, the exports included around 3.6 billion Swiss francs. The agreement enters into force, the Department of Economic Affairs Federal councillor Guy Parmelin, with tariff savings of 180 million francs per year. On the other hand, Switzerland granted to the Mercosur countries, licences for the Export of agricultural products.