You are going to hear and read this term a lot today. Let us break it down for you.
What is Mercosur: It is an economic and political bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, plus several associate members. Venezuela's membership in the group was suspended in 2017, in a Mercosur resolution that cited a "rupture of democratic order" in the country.
The recent trade deal: In June, after more than 20 years of negotiations, Mercosur and the European Union reached a comprehensive trade agreement in Brussels. "The new trade framework -- part of a wider Association Agreement between the two regions -- will consolidate a strategic political and economic partnership and create significant opportunities for sustainable growth on both sides," a European Union news release said. The deal aims to remove the majority of tariffs on EU exports to Mercosur, according to the EU statement.
The impact of the deal: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the deal impacts a combined population of more than 780 million people, and would save more than $4.5 billion worth of duties per year. Juncker declared it the largest trade agreement the European Union has ever concluded.
What happens now: As wildfires rage in Brazil, French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday he is opposing a trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur. At the same time, Macron is accusing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of "lying" to him on his climate commitments, the Elysée Palace confirmed to CNN. Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also said Friday he is ready to block a trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur unless Brazil takes action on the Amazon forest.