S2B Network | 16 July 2023
Civil Society Statement – Stop unjust trade – Stop EU-Mercosur, EU-Chile and EU-Mexico
Ahead of the EU-CELAC summit between the EU member States and Latin American & Caribbean States we, the coalition “Stop EU-Mercosur” as well as the coalitions against the EU-Mexico and against the EU-Chile free trade and investment agreements, call on political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to stop these toxic free trade agreements between the EU and Mercosur, Mexico and Chile.
These free trade agreements are part of an out-dated model of trade that has failed people and the planet. They serve corporate interests at the expense of planetary boundaries, decent working conditions, jobs and animal welfare, and drive untenable social inequalities.
Instead of more competition, more cooperation between the two regions is needed to confront the major challenges of our times: climate crisis, massive biodiversity loss, growing poverty, informality, precariousness and unemployment as well as hunger and escalating geopolitical conflicts. Instead of offering solutions, the EU-Chile, EU-Mexico and EU-Mercosur trade agreements will perpetuate unfair trade dynamics that have roots in colonial-era extraction and exploitation. They will deepen the extractive model in the Latin American countries, fuel intensive animal agriculture and monocultures, responsible for hundreds of environmental “sacrifice zones”, and terrible human rights violations. They deepen unsustainable production patterns and trade relations which build on overcome gender role models while having an important negative impact on people, generally women, who are in charge of care and reproductive work.
These free trade agreements will benefit big corporations in the agricultural and the mining sector, automobile and the chemical industry, water & energy corporations, at the expense of access to good public services and the creation of decent jobs. These deals will fuel the current crises, while undermining human rights and endangering environmental defenders. There is no quick-fix for these inherently broken deals – No joint instrument, no sanctionable trade and sustainability chapter can offset their destructive nature. It is clear that in order to meet the challenges posed by the intersecting crises of climate and environmental degradation, inequality and poverty, we need a new approach. The trade deals on the table represent business as usual which is endangering our very existence on this planet. Therefore we call on you to reject them!
We, the transatlantic coalition “Stop EU-Mercosur” as well as the coalitions against the EU-Mexico and against the EU-Chile free trade and investment agreements, ask you to seize the opportunity to work out transatlantic relations that overcome past colonial and current neo-colonial relations, provide reparations and help building socially just and ecologically resilient societies based on the principles of democracy, solidarity, protection of human and labour rights, food sovereignty and the respect for the planet´s boundaries. At the same time, we demand transparency and social and popular participation in the current and future processes of negotiating agreements between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean countries. We need new rules which create a viable future, not old recipes which lead us to disaster.
Therefore, we call upon you as our political representatives to send a strong signal AGAINST the free trade (and investment) agreements between the EU, Mexico, Chile and the Mercosur and prepare the soil for a new era of just and sustainable cooperation between the two regions.