US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke by phone with Brazilian Minister of the Economy Paulo Guedes on Thursday (11). Among the topics, the theme that has dominated the dialogue between the governments of Joe Biden and Jair Bolsonaro so far: the preservation of the Amazon.
In all three high-level conversations between the teams over the past few weeks, the message is the same. The United States wants to treat Brazil as a partner to develop forest protection policies, without economic sanctions for the moment.
During the telephone conversation between Yellen and Guedes, first revealed by the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, it was a question of finding common denominators for issues involving sustainable economies and greater facilitation of business between countries. country.
Commissioned by Yellen, the US Treasury, in collaboration with the State Department and agencies for development and international cooperation – USAID and DFC, in English acronyms -, will be responsible for developing a plan to protect the Amazon in partnership with Brazil and other interested countries.
One idea is that there should be a financing fund – with public and private contributions – in return for Brazil’s commitment to forest conservation goals.
As revealed by Folha, the order of the Biden government is that the first actions of the White House in relation to the Amazon must be treated with dialogue and do not involve sanctions against Brazil.
Despite pressure from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and activists calling for punitive measures against the Bolsonaro administration, the orientation in the White House is to bet on a collaborative plan for the preservation of the forest, before to apply any sanction to the country.
In an election debate last year, Biden previously spoke about creating a $ 20 billion fund to fight deforestation and cited the consequences if the Brazilian government did not act against the destruction of the region. . At the time, Bolsonaro reacted and said he did not accept bribes.
After the Democrat took office, diplomats and the Plateau military wing entered the field in an attempt to lower the temperature and open up avenues for dialogue with the Biden government.
Before the conversation between Yellen and Guedes, Brazilian Chancellor Ernesto Araújo spoke with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and, alongside Environment Minister Ricardo Salles, he had a virtual meeting with the Biden government’s so-called climate czar, John Kerry.
Biden’s aides acknowledge that Bolsonaro is deviating from the Democrat in many areas, mainly on the environment and human rights, but say he believes the history of the relationship in other areas, such as defense and trade, can pave the way for an understanding.