Austria Rejects EU-Mercosur Trade Deal Over Amazon Fires


By Boris Groendahl, Bloomberg 

September 19, 2019


A key committee in Austria’s parliament rejected a draft free-trade pact between the European Union and South America over concerns about fires in the Amazon, the latest sign of resistance to the agreement reached in June.


In a decision that’s binding for the government, almost all parties on the parliament’s EU subcommittee voted against the deal with the Mercosur free-trade zone -- comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.


“The rain forest is burnt down in South America to create grazing land to then export discount beef to Europe,” Elisabeth Koestinger, a former agriculture minister of the conservative People’s Party, said in a statement after Wednesday’s vote. “The EU mustn’t reward that with a trade agreement.”


European opposition to the pact has surged over fires in the Amazon rain forest. French President...