A free trade area between Europe and Mercosur might be doable and effective, provided that South American member countries actually reassure the European Union about their giving up all tanning protectionist policies. When it comes to negotiations between the EU and the common market that variously includes 12 countries placed to the south of the Rio Grande, Cotance, the European confederation of tanning associations, along with IndustriAll, an international union platform, ask the European Union to make clear agreements on the leather industry. The crux of the problem still lies in the restrictions and customs duties, currently imposed by Mercosur member countries (also including Brazil and Argentina), on raw hides and semi-finished leather export. “The European Commission must provide the leather industry with a free trade agreement – point out Cotance and IndustriAll in their joint statement -, which is supposed to be equal and fully mutual as to commercial relations. Moreover, it has to foster the highest social standards in the business”.