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  • Writer's pictureU.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil

The USNDB Releases Letter Supporting the Ways and Means Committee Letter on US-Brazil Trade Deal

The U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil (USNDB) is proud to express its support for the Ways and Means Committee and their recent letter to Robert Lighthizer (United States Trade Representative), regarding the possibilities of the U.S. government pursuing a free trade agreement with the Bolsonaro government in Brazil. As a network of scholars and Brazil experts, the USNDB has been carefully following Brazil’s political situation and feels an obligation to use its expertise to encourage the U.S. government in taking action against the harms of the Bolsonaro administration. The USNDB has sent a letter to the Trade Subcommittee Chairman, Richard E. Neal, and the other twenty-two Representatives who signed the Committee’s letter expressing support and encouragement for the Committee’s assessment against a free trade deal with Bolsonaro’s government.

The Ways and Means Committee letter details several objections to pursuing a stronger economic relationship with Brazil during Bolsonaro’s presidency, including his disparaging comments toward minorities, facilitation of the destruction of the Amazon, pursuit of anti-competitive economic practices and dissolution of workers protections. Additionally, it argues that Brazil would not uphold the workers rights and environmental provisions of a trade agreement, and that a trade agreement is not necessary given the already competitive nature of Brazilian firms. It urges the U.S government to enforce its policies more consistently and to object to unfair trade practices with the Brazilian government. This letter has been widely reported on by various media outlets.

Brazil’s Interim Ambassador to the U.S, Nestor Forster Jr. responded to the Ways and Means Committee letter, arguing that Jair Bolsonaro has upheld workers’ and minorities’ rights, democratic standards and environmental protections. The U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil sees the facts portrayed in Mr. Forster’s letter as incomplete and misguided. It urges the Honorable Richard E. Neal to examine the whole truth and trust the assessment of its large network of experts.

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View the USNDB's official letter HERE

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