LAMY’S MERCOSUR CHEAT SHEET: With the EU-Mercosur trade deal facing its moment of truth, Morning Trade talked with commerce guru Pascal Lamy, a former trade commissioner and WTO chief. Lamy said the Commission should be bolder and ask capitals to endorse the deal in a vote.

Time’s up: “The Commission should ask the Council for a vote, saying that we have spent a lot of time trying to get everyone to agree and that there is not a blocking minority of member states,” Lamy said. “I had to do it myself when I was commissioner.”

Something has changed: Opponents of the pact, such as the French government, should understand that it is time to back the deal, Lamy said: “The European Union needs to show that it has a strong interest in the rest of the world in order to escape the China-US rivalry. The agreement has an even bigger geopolitical and geo-economic importance than it did four years ago … the world has changed!”

Deforestation guarantees: The French government repeatedly linked its opposition to the deal to deforestation in the Amazon. Lamy said that Paris should draw confidence from the fact that Brussels has adopted a new anti-deforestation text “which is extremely restrictive for Mercosur exports, this is also part of the important changes between 2019 and now.” In any case, the trade expert believes, the French position is about protecting the country’s domestic beef industry from South American competitors: “We know the French position, it is due to agricultural reticence on a subject that is beef, beef and beef.”

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