09 July 1998
Farming fears delay to
EU-Latin America trade deal

PLANS for an ambitious free trade deal with South America have been delayed because of fears over the possible effects on farmers.

The European Union was due to vote yesterday on a negotiating framework for a deal with the Mercosur trade pact countries of Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay and associate member Chile.

But EU agricultural commissioner Franz Fischler, demanded a delay to allow completion of a study of the impact on European Union farming. Commissioners will reconsider the plan in a fortnight. Even then opposition from France and others could prevent unanimous approval.

The delay is another demonstration of the power of the farmers lobby and the extent to which agricultural concerns are holding back Brussels free trade ambitions, reports the Financial Times.

  • Financial Times 09/07/98 page 6