SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Wednesday he should reach a trade deal between South America’s Mercosur trading bloc and the European Union within six months if he wins the October presidential election.
The former president and frontrunner told Canal Rural, a local agriculture-focused broadcaster, that Brazil needed the deal and needed to export as much as possible, especially in the agricultural sector.
Last month, sources told Reuters that EU officials had approached the Brazilian government to relaunch talks with the Mercosur bloc, made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
According to a Brazilian official, the contact came amid rapid changes in global supply chains following the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which have increased Brazil’s influence as an agricultural powerhouse.
Negotiations for a deal were completed in 2019, but environmental concerns stalled the deal before it was approved by EU member state legislatures.
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A recent poll showed Lula widening his lead over incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro ahead of a first-round vote on October 2.
(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lincoln Feast.)
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