Mexico trade deal shows EU not learning from pandemic

  • Posted on: 30 April 2020
  • By: Anonimo (non verificato)

Decrying the Free Trade Agreement the EU is set to sign with Mexico, GUE/NGL MEP Emmanuel Maurel (France Insoumise, France) comments on the conclusion of four years of negotiations: 

“This only half surprises us since, at a recent European Parliament hearing, EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan baffled the room by saying he was not aware of a link between the proliferation of pandemics and the destruction of biodiversity, something which has been widely reported,” Maurel said. 

“The extension of this agreement will further destroy biodiversity and widen inequalities in Mexico and the European Union. Farmers on both sides will face even more competition from agribusinesses.

“Instead of opting for relocation of certain industrial activities, less polluting industrialisation and food security, the Commission has chosen to double down on its neoliberal approach. This is particularly worrying for Mexico, where there is wide inequality and the environment has been ravaged by three decades of duty-free factories – the maquiladoras – and imports of essential products like corn.

“A recent interparliamentary delegation noted how whole valleys in the country have become unlivable because as multinationals have established extremely polluting factories. The Commission has invoked the Paris Agreement in its press release announcing the conclusion of the deal but the content of the agreement is devastating for the environment. The sustainable development clause that the Commission prides itself on having included is only a token without enforcement.”

Multinationals are rubbing their hands with glee since they can now take the public procurement sector away from small and medium-sized businesses, which were somewhat protected in Mexico. In addition, they succeeded in having the controversial Investment Court System, similar to the one the EU has established with Canada. 

“As we feared, the Commission seems to have learned nothing from the serious crisis we are going through. We demand the freezing of all negotiations and the revision of trade agreements to bring them into line with the goals of job creation and the fight against global warming and pandemics,” Maurel concluded.