The differences between the Democratic candidate and the president of Brazil became evident in recent days. Will pragmatism or personal sympathy prevail?
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro faced with “pragmatism” an electoral defeat for his ally Donald Trump, but Joe Biden’s threat over the Amazon made it clear that relations with the United States will suffer complications with the Democratic candidate in the White House.
The so-called ‘tropical Trump’, who made his alignment with Washington a pillar of his diplomacy, was angered when front-runner Biden said in the first campaign debate that if Brazil continues to deforest it will suffer economic consequences; a “disastrous and gratuitous” declaration that puts at risk the “cordial coexistence” between the continent’s two largest economies, the Brazilian warned.
Two days later, when Trump and his wife Melania fell ill with coronavirus, the far-right Brazilian president wished them a speedy recovery in the face of the “campaign for reelection.”
“You will win and be stronger, for the good of the United States and the world,” he added in a message of clear support for his political model.
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The Brazilian ambassador to Washington, Nestor Foster, admitted in late September that a Biden victory would mean a “reorganization and redefinition” of Washington’s foreign policy, but that Brazil was prepared to face that turn “with a certain degree of pragmatism.”
“We will be ready for dialogue. I have had intense contact with people linked to the foreign policy area of the Democratic Party, senators and deputies. We have good friends there,” Foster said in an interview with the newspaper. Value.
Bolsonaro boasts of the commercial and military benefits of his alliance with TrumpBut his critics claim that he has submitted to the American without getting much in return.
His adversaries saw further proof of this in the recent tariff cut on North American ethanol, which could help Trump win votes in some states. The decision sparked tension with the powerful Brazilian agribusiness lobby.
They also blame him for the lack of strong support from Washington for Brazil to join the OECD, a club made up mostly of rich democracies.
For Matías Spektor, professor of international relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), a victory for Biden in the November 3 elections “would mean the end of the red carpet for Bolsonaro in the White House,” with which to Brazil ” it would be more difficult for him than it already is to do business with the United States, “his second trading partner.
“Biden would represent a political-ideological coalition that shortens Bolsonaro’s room for maneuver, especially on the environmental issue, but also on the human rights issue. Although he has an interest in not confronting Brazil, it will be difficult for Biden subject to its own base, especially in a hypothetical scenario in which the Democrats regain control of Congress, “he explained.
But that does not mean that relationships go into a spiral of deterioration, since The United States is interested in keeping Brazil as an ally in the fight against China’s unstoppable rise, the first commercial partner of Brazil.
That is where the vital question of 5G (very high speed mobile internet) comes in, a technology that Brazil must tender in the first half of 2021. The option will be given between the Chinese Huawei, which Trump accuses of serving the espionage of Beijing, or by its rivals, including Europeans Ericsson and Nokia, supported by the US president.
The US ambassador in Brasilia, Todd Chapman, warned that Brazil would face “consequences” if it decides on the Chinese company.
“Biden and the Democrats criticize Trump’s forceful approach to 5G, but not necessarily the goal of having ‘Made in America’ technology and supply chains that depend less on China,” Jonathan Wood, principal analyst at Control, told AFP. Risks for the United States and Canada.