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Brazil president-elect calls for prudence in trade agreements with big powers

Sao Paulo, Nov 30 (EFE).- Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro on Friday called for prudent consideration before his country signs any trade agreements with other nations, a reference to the negotiations of a possible treaty between Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) and the European Union.

According to Bolsonaro, Argentine President Mauricio Macro wants to “bring forward” treaty negotiations between the two economic blocs, a decision that the next Brazilian head of state prefers to take with more caution, as recommended by his future foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo.

“I spoke with our future (foreign) minister and he recommended having a little more prudence so that Brazil doesn’t lose share of market there,” Bolsonaro told reporters after taking part in a graduation ceremony for air force officers in the city of Guaratingueta, in the interior of Sao Paulo state.

The statement by Brazil’s future president came a day after French President Emmanuel Macron told a G20 meeting in Buenos Aires that “I am not in favor of signing major trade accords with powers who have announced that they won’t respect the Paris Agreement,” a reference to the stand taken against that environmental protection accord by Bolsonaro, and which goes against the common position of the Mercosur bloc with regard to climate change.

“Macron will depend on France…Mercosur’s accord with the European Union affects the interests of France, a country also dedicated to agribusiness,” said Bolsonaro, leader of the country’s growing far right and winner of the election held last October.

The president-elect also said he is considering “five exceptional names” to lead the Environment Ministry, a unit of government that Bolsonaro plans to put more at the service of developing the agriculture industry than protecting ecosystems, which has aroused criticism among environmentalists and other sectors of Brazilian society.

“We want an environmental policy that preserves the environment, of course, but not in the terrorist way it’s being done now. This ministry isn’t there to get in the way of farmers,” he said.

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