Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-07-08-Speech-4-087"

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"Mr President, China’s interventions in Central and Latin America have brought a new impetus to EU negotiations. With more than 200 million consumers, the Mercosur countries, which, as we know, share many of our values and interests, are the most important market for our domestic products in Latin America. We are targeting the world’s largest free trade zone with a total of 700 million inhabitants and a trade volume of EUR 100 billion. Naturally this is a major argument in favour of a free trade agreement, something that should be supported in principle. However, the question remains why we have separate agreements with Mexico, Chile, Mercosur, Peru and Columbia, rather than one common agreement. Also, if individual agreements are to be concluded, then the smaller states need to be included, not just through trade associations. Clearly there is a lack of consistency here. Nor must we lose sight of the misgivings of the agricultural sector in relation to cheap meat imports. After all, while we police our own farmers with bureaucratic rules and regulations for quality, environmental and animal protection standards, the same does not apply to the meat produced in the Mercosur countries. We must not further undermine the EU’s self-sufficiency, which is already no longer absolute, and must avoid driving up the number of Europe’s farmers leaving the land."@en1

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