New Brazilian president wants to amend Mercosur treaty

The new Brazilian president Lula da Silva has clear plans for the country's agricultural policy. For example, he has announced that he will reward farmers with cheap credit if they take measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

This could mean that European agriculture and agricultural production could face additional competition from Brazilian farmers.

In addition, Lula da Silva has announced that he wants to amend the Mercosur trade agreement, a trade agreement between the EU and Latin American countries including Brazil. Although the EU countries are positive about amending the treaty, there are also hesitations about ratifying the current treaty, which has already been signed. 

The EU is concerned about the impact of agricultural exports from the Mercosur countries on European agriculture and has therefore indicated that certain conditions should still be imposed on the ratification of the treaty. These conditions mainly focus on maize exports as a result of the expansion of agricultural land on the site of cleared jungle forests.

This environmental argument is not only used by nature organizations such as Greenpeace, but also by European agricultural umbrella organizations that oppose increased meat imports from South America.

It was already known that Lula will follow a completely different agricultural course than his predecessor Bolsonaro, because Lula da Silva was already president of Brazil about ten years ago. Last week he announced that he had appointed former environmental activist Marina Silva as the new environment minister.

She was also a minister for several years in the previous reign of President Lula and is known as a protector of the Amazon jungle. Her appointment is a sign that the protection of the jungle is high on the agenda of the new Brazilian government.

President Bolsonaro, who was voted out last month, saw the jungle mainly as an economic potential. He encouraged the clearing of primeval forests for agriculture and for the construction of new grain and maize fields. In recent years, Brazil has become one of the world's largest maize exporters.

Lula da Silva has also announced his commitment to the development of Brazil's family farms. He argues that these farms have the capacity to feed the entire country.

Finally, Lula da Silva has announced that he wants to increase Brazilian agricultural production without having to cut down a single tree. This means that there may be an increase in the production of agricultural products in Brazil, which again creates additional competition for European agriculture.