When It Comes To Brazilian Agribusiness, Trump's Trade Policy Criticism Is Unfounded

Both countries impose trade barriers and negotiation quotas in order to protect their domestic markets

Mauro Zafalon
São Paulo

The United States president Donald Trump can't complain about Brazil when it comes to agribusiness. Both countries have very similar trade flows, and even import and export similar products.

On Monday (1º), Trump criticized Brazil by saying that it was one of the hardest countries to have trade relations with and also claimed that American companies are treated unfairly in the country.

But in agribusiness, the United States and Brazil both defend their markets with trade barriers, by imposing tariffs in several products like meat, juice, ethanol, and sugar. 

From January to September, Brazilians exported US$ 3.1 billion to the US in the agribusiness sector alone, while the Americans sold products in the amount of US$ 2.1 billion in Brazil.

The amounts correspond to R$ 11.9 billion and R$ 8.1 billion, respectively, by the Wednesday (3rd) official exchange rate of R$ 3.85.

However, Trump is right when he says it's hard to do business in Brazil. It's difficult for Brazilians as well.

Lígia Dutra, international relations superintendent at CNA (National Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock Industries in Brazil) says that in agribusiness, the trade flow is balanced.

But she admits that Brazil faces trade barriers from several countries due to the closed nature of its economy.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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