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FILE PHOTO: Brazilian president Lula da Silva hugging Ursula von der Leyen the President of the European Commission at the 3rd EU-CELAC Summit in Brussels, Belgium on 17 July 2023.

Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Reuters

EU and Mercosur near trade deal (at last)

It has been a long four years since the free trade deal between Brussels and Latin America’s largest trade bloc was agreed in principle, but all sides now, finally, look close to signing on the dotted line.

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Argentine presidential candidate Javier Milei gestures during the closing event of his electoral campaign ahead of the November 19 runoff election, in Cordoba, Argentina, November 16, 2023.

REUTERS/Matias Baglietto

Milei’s win raises pressure for completion of EU-Latin America trade deal

Javier Milei’s victory in Argentina’s presidential election could rapidly accelerate negotiations for a trade treaty between the Mercosur trade bloc and the EU. Milei, a self-declared anarcho-capitalist, vowed to pull Argentina from Mercosur altogether if he won. His victory raises questions about the future of the bloc and talks surrounding the treaty.

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Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Portugal's PM Antonio Costa during a press conference in Lisbon.

REUTERS/Rodrigo Antunes

Brazil & EU tussle over war but want to talk trade

On his first European trip since taking office in January, Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was hoping to win final support for a free trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) that’s been stuck since 2019. So far, he’s been booed in Portugal for his controversial remarks on the war in Ukraine following a visit to China, but he doubled down on this rhetoric in Lisbon over the weekend.

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Smoke billows from a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil.

REUTERS/Bruno Kelly

Who controls the “lungs of Earth”?

Those fighting to halt climate change call the Amazon rainforest the "lungs of Earth," and they're frustrated that Brazil's current president has made his country a chain-smoker.

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