France has been a long-time opponent of the EU-Mercosur deal and has reiterated its opposition as farmer protests escalate.
France on Monday said the European Commission has stopped negotiating a trade deal with the Mercosur group of South American countries.
“The Commission understood that it was impossible to conclude talks in this context,” an Elysée official told reporters during a telephone briefing on Monday.
“Our understanding is that it has instructed its negotiators to put an end to the negotiating sessions that were under way in Brazil, and in particular to the visit that had been envisaged by the vice president of the Commission in the event of a conclusion,” the official added.
The announcement came as farmers are protesting in France, including against free-trade deals concluded by the EU. France has been a long-time opponent of the EU-Mercosur deal and has reiterated its opposition as protests escalate.
Last week, chief negotiators from the EU and Mercosur reached a provisional agreement on the public procurement chapter of the long-awaited trade pact. The countries in the Mercosur group are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to reiterate his opposition to the pact during a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday and at a bilateral meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the sidelines of that summit.
A European Commission spokesperson declined to comment.