Negotiations began on 28 June 1999. After the suspension of the talks, negotiations resumed in 2010. The long-standing negotiations gave new impetus in 2016, when the EU and Mercosur each submitted new offers to reduce tariffs. On 28 June 2019, the European Union and Mercosur reached a political agreement on an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive trade agreement. The new trade framework, part of a broader association agreement between the two regions, will strengthen a strategic political and economic partnership. Cattle farming is the main driver of deforestation by Den Assund and has been responsible for up to 80% of deforestation.   The current increase in the rate of destruction of tropical forests comes at a time when beef exports from Brazil are at record levels.  There are fears that the agreement could lead to even greater deforestation, as it expands access to the Brazilian beef market.  EU leaders responded to the criticism by saying that the terms of the agreement are not contrary to the objectives of the Paris climate agreement and that the trade agreement underlines a commitment to “rules-based trade”.  However, as Jonathan Watts points out, “there are countless reports of violations of the rules by Brazilian meat companies.”  Many experts believe that the environmental provisions contained in the current text of the agreement are “edented” because of the lack of enforcement powers  Brazil is a signatory to the Paris climate agreement, but President Bolsonaro criticized it and threatened to remove Brazil from office.  As mentioned above, deforestation of the Amazon has intensified under Bolsonaro. He is accused of weakening Brazil`s ministry of the environment, encouraging the expansion of agriculture and mining in the region and turning a blind eye to illegal destruction.  The current Environment Minister, Ricardo Salles, has imposed the lowest number of fines for illegal deforestation in a decade.
 The increasing use of protectionist measures by national leaders is seen as an encouragement to the resumption of talks in 2016.  The EU can hope that the agreement is a major break in this global revival of protectionism.  European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called the agreement the approval of “rules-based trade” at a time of increasing protectionism.  Mercosur could hope to use the agreement as a model for future business in the future.  Mercosur`s presidents have already stated that they want to conclude trade agreements with Canada and EFTA.  Argentine President Mauricio Macri said the agreement with the EU was “not a point of arrival, but a starting point”.  The total population of the two regions means that the agreement would have a population of 780 million.  This is Mercosur`s largest free trade agreement since the bloc`s launch in 1991.  It is also the largest EU trade agreement to date on tariff reductions.  On 18 June 2019, more than 340 civil society organisations wrote to call on the EU to immediately halt trade negotiations and use its influence as Brazil`s second largest trading partner to improve the human rights situation in Brazil under Bolsonaro.  The letter acknowledges the decision to place the delimitation of indigenous lands under the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, where the agricultural lobby has powerful demands and repeated attacks and invasions of indigenous lands by profit seekers.  It also noted that trade preferences for countries involved in human rights violations, such as Myanmar and the Philippines, had been suspended and had restricted imports of products related to human rights violations, such as conflict minerals.
 This letter reiterated a similar plea by 600 European scientists and 300 indigenous groups in May, calling on the EU to call on Brazil to comply with environmental and human rights standards, a prerequisite