14:23 GMT +320 July 2019
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    France Not Yet Ready to Ratify Trade Agreement With Mercosur

    © AFP 2019 / NIKLAS HALLE'N
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Spokeswoman for the French government Sibeth Ndiaye said on Tuesday that Paris was not yet ready to ratify the pending free trade agreement between the European Union and South American trade bloc Mercosur.

    The comprehensive deal has already passed though nearly two decades of negotiations and is now being ratified by individual EU member sates.

    "We will look at it in detail and, depending on the details, we will decide. France is not yet ready to ratify the deal", Ndiaye told French broadcaster BFM TV.

    The trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur, which comprises Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, has been negotiated for almost 20 years.

    Once in force, the deal will eliminate the majority of tariffs between the two blocs by establishing a free trade area. Despite it being touted as an enormous opportunity for European businesses, countries like Ireland and France are concerned about the deal's impact on their farming sectors.

    Mercosur, officially known as Southern Common Market was established in 1991. It includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Venezuela is a full member but has been suspended since the end of 2016.

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