June 29, 2019 / 8:32 AM / 24 days ago

UPDATE 1-Macron says 'good' EU-Mercosur trade deal meets French demands

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PARIS, June 29 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday a draft trade deal between the European Union and the Mercosur group of South American countries was “good” and had met key French demands.

The EU and Mercosur agreed a free trade treaty on Friday, concluding two decades of talks between the blocs.

France, which has regularly expressed concern over the risk of a surge in South American agricultural exports to Europe, welcomed provisions protecting European geographical origin certification for food products and limiting Mercosur exports of sugar and beef, Macron said.

“I consider that this agreement, at this stage, is a good one given that the demands that we made have all been taken into account by the negotiators,” he said during a news conference at the end of a summit of the G20 nations in Japan.

Macron had this week threatened not to sign any EU-Mercosur trade deal if Brazil pulled out of the Paris climate accord.

The French president welcomed the commitment of Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro to the Paris accord at the G20 summit, which he said allowed the final communique to reiterate the group’s support for the climate agreement with the exception of the United States.

The G20 gathering also led to a truce between the United States and China in their trade dispute, and Macron said the summit had manage “to avoid the worst” at a time of tensions concerning international trade and also Iran.

Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Marine Pennetier Editing by Edmund Blair

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