European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex) and Brazilian Textile and Apparel Industry Association (ABIT), representing the textiles and clothing industries in both the EU and Brazil, have welcomed the negotiations for an important EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement (FTA). “The textiles and clothing industry is a vivid and global sector in which we believe Europe and Mercosur countries have a key role to play. Our focus is on high quality products manufactured in a sustainable manner under high standards, be it from an environmental, labour and social point of view,” the associations reported. “Euratex and ABIT maintain strong cooperation links since many years and we have always been supportive of the conclusion of an FTA.”

Over the last months, the two associations have intensified their talks and have jointly worked on a wide range of topics related to textiles and clothing trade, namely regulatory cooperation, customs procedures, technical barriers to trade, sustainability requirements, etc. Tariffs dismantling and rules of origin have also been very much at the centre of the talks. Euratex and ABIT together made efforts to build balanced rules of origin considering the structure of the textiles and clothing industries, so that the EU-Mercosur FTA benefit both parties and increase trade and investments for both sides.

“Therefore, we are happy to share a suggestion from the private sector to both governments with our common views on the Product Specific Rules and Tariff Dismantling to be enshrined in the EU-Mercosur FTA,” they say. “We strongly hope that the EU-Mercosur Agreement will be concluded as soon as possible, and we call on the negotiators to pay due attention to our recommendations”