What Trump and Biden think about the Brazilian Amazon

The election race in the United States is drawing to a close and the preservation of the Amazon was part of the campaign speech of Democratic candidate Joe Biden twice. On the part of US President, Republican Donald , the matter was not addressed publicly in the election period. But Trump had previously positioned himself on what he thinks about Brazilian policy for the Amazon rainforest.

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On October 15, in the most recent statement, Biden mentioned the Amazon region in defending the importance of its preservation to contain climate change. The statement was made in response to voters. “The biggest carbon scavenger in the world is the Amazon. Each year, it absorbs more carbon than the entire emissions from the United States, ”he said.

Before, in September, Biden had been tougher. During the first presidential debate with Trump, the Democrat threatened Brazil with “significant economic consequences” if the country does not implement policies to prevent deforestation in the Amazon.

Biden accused the Brazilian government of being lenient with the destruction of the Amazon. “Brazil, Brazil’s rainforest, is being demolished, is being destroyed. More carbon is absorbed in that rainforest than every bit of carbon that is emitted in the United States, ”he said.

As a “solution” to curb deforestation in the Amazon, Biden said that, if elected, he would meet with officials from other countries to propose aid to Brazil. “I would be meeting and making sure that the countries of the world come up with $ 20 billion and say, ‘Here are $ 20 billion. Stop! Stop cutting down the forest, and if you don’t, you will have significant economic consequences. ‘”

Biden’s statement provoked a quick reaction from the Brazilian government. Through social media, President Jair Bolsonaro said his government is taking “unprecedented actions” to protect the Amazon. “The greed of some countries about the Amazon is a reality. However, ‘externalization’ [dessa cobiça], by someone who disputes the command of his country, clearly signals giving up a cordial and fruitful coexistence. ”

That same day, Bolsonaro made a tough speech in defense of Brazilian sovereignty over the Amazon, in a pre-recorded speech at the United Nations Biodiversity Summit. The tone used was firmer than that which opened the UN General Assembly, when it also defended Brazilian actions in the Amazon. The president cited the “sovereign right” of member states to exploit their natural resources and rejected “international greed” over the region. “We will defend it from actions and narratives that attack national interests.”

What Trump has already said about the Amazon

Donald Trump did not even mention the Amazon during his reelection campaign. But his position on Brazilian forest policy is well known: he supports the Bolsonaro government’s position on national sovereignty in the region.

In August 2019, when Bolsonaro was internationally criticized for burning in the Amazon, Trump reported on his social networks that he had talked to the Brazilian president to show support. “I told him that the United States can help with the Amazon Forest fires. We are ready to assist, ”he said.

The support was celebrated by Bolsonaro, who raised the flag to defend Brazilian sovereignty in the Amazon region. “Thank you, President Donald Trump! We are having great success in fighting fires. Brazil is and will continue to be an example for the world in sustainable development. The fake news campaign fabricated against our sovereignty will not prosper. The USA can always count on Brazil, ”he published in response to the North American.

Brazil and the Amazon are in “3rd place” in the US concerns

Trump’s absence of references to the Amazon during the United States electoral campaign is not surprising to anyone who follows the issue – as well as the few mentions not only of the Amazon rainforest, but also of Brazil on the part of the two candidates.

Sustainability expert Verônica Prates, manager of BMJ Consultores Associados, says that the current American government’s position is similar to Bolsonaro’s on this issue. “Trump’s stance is very pro-national sovereignty. It is a position even similar to that of the Brazilian government, that we have total sovereignty over the Amazon ”, says Verônica.

The few citations to the Amazon in the electoral race are related to the importance that both Trump and Biden attach to Brazil in their foreign policy agendas.

“Brazil is not the focus of discussions [nos EUA]. On the foreign policy agenda [da campanha americana], we had a much greater focus mainly on the relationship with China. And, in the background, we have the relationship and personal struggles of the presidential candidates in relation to Russia and Ukraine. Brazil would be in the third plane ”, says Verônica.

Bolsonaro was targeted by the US House

Although it was not a recurring theme in the American election, the Bolsonaro government and Brazil’s environmental policies were recent targets for Democratic deputies in the United States House.

In June, Democrats from the American House Budget and Tax Commission informed the White House of “strong objections to President Jair Bolsonaro’s pursuit of any trade agreement or the expansion of commercial partnerships with Brazil.”

In the document, US deputies state that the Bolsonaro administration poses risks to democracy, human rights and the environment. “Although there appears to be considerable support in Congress to form a long-term strategic partnership with Brazil, many members [do Senado e Câmara] they may be reluctant to advance major bilateral trade agreements or security initiatives in the short term, ”says an excerpt.

In July, the International Relations Commission demanded the Bolsonaro family’s removal from the US election. The United States House is controlled by the Democratic Party.

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