Lawmakers in Austria have demanded that the government reject the landmark free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, the BBC reports.

Members of Parliament from a number of different parties across the political spectrum refused the pass the treaty out of committee, citing concerns about Brazil’s environmental policies and recent fires in the Amazon rainforests.

Brazil is one of four members of the Mercosur (the others are Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay), all of which have ratified the agreement. If just one of the 27 EU member nations rejects the deal, then it cannot pass through the European parliament, and will effectively be dead.

France, Ireland and Luxembourg had previously threatened to veto the deal, which took more than 20 years to negotiate, due to concern for European farmers as well as the environment.

This comes as bad news to olive oil producers and consumers from both sides of the Atlantic who were eagerly awaiting the chance to export and import tariff-free olive oil from one shore to the other.

However, the agreement is not dead yet. Austrian voters head to the polls September 29 and depending on the election, a new set of lawmakers may yet breathe new life into the deal.



More articles on: , , ,