August 26, 2019 / 8:12 AM / 3 months ago

Mercosur trade deal gives EU leeway to pressure Brazil on Amazon fires - Maas

A tract of Amazon jungle is seen after a fire in Boca do Acre, Amazonas state, Brazil August 24, 2019. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly

BERLIN (Reuters) - A planned trade agreement between the European Union and Latin American countries allows the bloc to exert pressure on Brazil to do more against fires engulfing the Amazon rainforest, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.

“The Mercosur agreement ... gives us possibilities and means to exert pressure to influence things on the ground (in Brazil),” Maas told diplomats in Berlin.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for blocking the trade deal between the EU and the Mercosur of Latin American countries to put pressure on Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro.

Reporting by Tassilo Hummel

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