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French farmers hold tractor protests in Mercosur warning to Macron

  • Farmers fear trade deal to boost S. American beef imports
  • Changes to farm subsidies have also angered French farmers
  • Macron invites young farmers to Elysee ahead of farm show

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French farmers drive their tractors on the A7 highway to protest changes in underprivileged farm area’s mapping and against Mercosur talks, in Pierre-Benite near Lyon, France, February 21, 2018.  Message reads "Mercosur, no to unfair competition". REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot

French farmers drive their tractors on the A7 highway to protest changes in underprivileged farm area’s mapping and against Mercosur talks, in Pierre-Benite near Lyon, France, February 21, 2018. Message reads "Mercosur, no to unfair competition". REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot

French farmers drive their tractors on the A7 highway to protest changes in underprivileged farm area’s mapping and against Mercosur talks, in Pierre-Benite near Lyon, France, February 21, 2018. Message reads "Mercosur, no to unfair competition". REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot

French farmers drove tractors through town centres and blocked highways on Wednesday to oppose extra agricultural imports from South America, raising pressure on President Emmanuel Macron in the run-up to a politically sensitive Paris farm show.

Agriculture is proving a stumbling block in negotiations between the European Union and the Mercosur bloc of South American countries over a wide-ranging trade agreement, with friction in particular over how much access the EU should give to South American beef.


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