Today, on the Global Day of Action for the Amazon, Canadian labour calls on the Government of Canada to safeguard protections for the Amazon rainforest in its trade agreement with Brazil and the Mercosur countries.
In its ongoing negotiations on the Mercosur trade deal with Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, Canada must ensure the agreement contains enforceable provisions that uphold environmental protections, labour and Indigenous rights.
Increased North American and European market access for Brazilian beef, soy and other agricultural products has been a primary driver behind the fires and deforestation of the Amazon, made increasingly possible by the Bolsonaro government’s attempt to dismantle environmental and Indigenous protections.
Any trade deal reached with Mercosur must ensure that such kinds of environmental, labour and human rights violations are halted through the inclusion of enforceable provisions in the agreement and a complaint system that allows concerned citizens to initiate inquiries where violations are suspected. Furthermore, future rounds of negotiations with Mercosur must be made transparent to the public, allowing citizens to monitor the process and ensure that effective environmental protections are enshrined in any agreement that is ultimately ratified.
Canadian labour stands in solidarity with our Mercosur sisters and brothers in ensuring the global protection of human, environmental and labour rights.