Farmers shut down parts of Rue de la Loi over South American trade deal
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    Farmers shut down parts of Rue de la Loi over South American trade deal

    Thursday, 11 July 2019
    An agricultural union protested outside of both the European Commission and the European Parliament on Thursday. Credit: Sam Nelson/The Brussels Times

    Fugea, an agricultural union and farmers movement that advocates for sustainable farming, protested a new trade deal outside of the European Commission this morning.

    The farmers were protesting a new free trade deal between the European Commission and Mercosur, a South American trading bloc that includes Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil.

    Tractors temporarily blocked a section of the Schuman Roundabout on Thursday. Credit: Sam Nelson/The Brussels Times

    In a press release, Fugea said it was protesting the new trade deal because it did not lead to fair competition for Walloon products in view of the different social, environmental, and health standards in Europe and South America.

    It also questioned quality of food consumers will receive with the arrival of low-cost meat on the market and said the agreement is in total opposition to the fight against climate change.

    Six tractors were parked in the Schuman Roundabout, temporarily blocking traffic down Rue de le Loi. Handmade signs were attached to the fronts and backs of the tractors reading, “Imports require the same standards as we do.” Fugea flags flew from the tops of the tractors.

    Farmers protested a new trade deal outside the European Commission on Thursday. Credit: Sam Nelson/The Brussels Times

    A tractor with a trailer attached also blocked traffic at the intersection of Rue de la Loi and the R20 roadway.

    The protestors had several concerns about a new trade deal with a South American trading bloc. Credit: Sam Nelson/The Brussels Times

    Police were directing street traffic at both locations because of the protests.

    The protestors later moved to demonstrate in front of the European Parliament.

    Sam Nelson
    The Brussels Times