President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and the President of the United States, Joe Biden, met this Thursday (9), in Los Angeles, in the first bilateral agenda between the two. Both discussed different topics on the economic and environmental agendas and on strengthening democracy in Latin America. The dialogue took place as a result of the ninth edition of the Summits of the Americas.
After the private meeting with Biden, which lasted approximately 30 minutes , Bolsonaro said he was “amazed” with the US president and said that “certainly” new meetings will take place. “It’s a relationship that, in my opinion, more than resumed, it was consolidated”, he said. For Bolsonaro, it was a productive meeting, where he exposed his vision on the Amazon, which, according to the Brazilian Chief Executive himself, Biden “agreed” with the points presented.
” We talk openly about the Amazon, then privately too, he agrees with us, it is very big, Brazil is an example for environmental preservation as a whole”, he said. Bolsonaro also said that Biden took advantage of the meeting to talk about the conflict in Ukraine, an agenda that was one of the main goals of the US president.
“He is worried, I talked about the my concerns about the consequences of the war, the consequences for the world. Everyone knows that he wants a solution, I do too, a crack was opened there that we share the same perception”, commented Bolsonaro. “It was good for him and it was good for me”, he highlighted.
The Brazilian and American presidents discussed the post-Covid-pandemic economic recovery-19, the impact of the conflict in Ukraine on fertilizer supplies and its effect on global food security. Efforts and commitment to sustainable development and clean energy were also discussed.
All these agendas were part of a previous and common agenda prepared by the foreign ministries of both countries. On the way to the opening plenary session of the Summit of the Americas, Bolsonaro told the press that he only accepted to go to the summit because Brazil and the United States agreed on the agenda to be debated.
“No would happen, I wasn’t supposed to come here.sent a special envoy there [Brasil] and we set the agenda”, said Bolsonaro. “It’s like a marriage, you will accept my faults, I will accept yours and we will be happy”, he added. the important points of the meeting, he mentioned “Russia, fertilizers” and Brazil as “an increasingly important actor for humanity”.
How was the initial conversation between Bolsonaro and Biden
Around 10 minutes of the initial conversation between Bolsonaro and Biden were televised by the press, which could the dialogue between the two. The American president mentioned that both countries share similar values, defended democratic institutions and spoke of helping to protect the Amazon by funding resources “as much as possible”. “It is an international responsibility of the which we all benefit”, declared Biden.
By taking the floor, Bolsonaro reinforced that Brazil and the States share the same values in defense of freedom and democracy, and highlighted that the country already adopts efforts to protect the Amazon. He made it clear, however, that “many times” the Brazilian government feels its sovereignty is threatened in the Amazon region.
“But the fact is that Brazil preserves its territory very well. So much so that two thirds of the Brazilian territory is preserved, more than 85% of the Brazilian Amazon is preserved Our environmental legislation is very strict, and we do everything possible to comply and ensure the well-being of our nation”, he declared.
Bolsonaro declared that, in the “near future”, Brazil may become the biggest exporter of clean energy. The federal government maintains that it is one of the main leaders in the debate on the global market for carbon credits and its main focus of environmental policy is the creation of “profitable climate solutions”, as stated by the Minister of the Environment, Joaquim Leite.
Still at the meeting with Biden, Bolsonaro spoke of the country’s efforts to develop its agricultural sector, which, according to him, “feeds more than 1 billion people in the world”. Without directly mentioning the trip to Russia made earlier this year, the Brazilian president preached peace between Russians and Ukrainians, but stressed that Brazil has always adopted a position of “balance” and that it acts pragmatically with a view to meeting its trade relations, such as the supply of Russian fertilizers.
“Brazil is still dependent on some things from other countries. We have always adopted a balanced position. We want peace and we will do everything to make peace achieved. We regret the conflicts, but I have a country to manage, and due to its dependence, we always have to be cautious”, he justified. “We hope and we are available to collaborate in the construction of a way out of this episode that we do not want between Ukraine and Russia”, he added.
The Brazilian president also did not mention his recent mentions about accusations of fraud in the last US elections. Bolsonaro expressed to Biden his desire for “clean, reliable and auditable elections” so that there is “no doubt after the election”. “And I am sure that it will be carried out in this democratic spirit. I arrived for democracy and I am sure that, when I leave the government, it will also be in a democratic way”, he said.
On the way to At the Summit of the Americas, after leaving the hotel where he is staying, Bolsonaro said that accusations of fraud in the US elections are “in the past”. “I didn’t come here to talk about the American elections, that’s in the past. Everyone knows I had a great relationship with President Donald Trump, but the present is Joe Biden, he’s the one I talk to, he’s the president”, he declared.
What Bolsonaro gains in this “marriage” with the United States
The meeting between Bolsonaro and Biden is politically beneficial for both. The US government offered to help the Brazilian government to seek alternative sources of fertilizers for the agricultural sector in Brazil. Despite being competitors in the production of commodities, the US has committed to bringing Brazilian businessmen closer to US producers and partner nations.
The federal government’s efforts to guarantee the import of fertilizers to the domestic market is one of Bolsonaro’s main goals. Especially after the rise in inflation, he has repeatedly emphasized that his trip to Russia at the beginning of the year was important to ensure the supply of input to the country’s agricultural sector.
Fertilizers are used as “food” for plants, which, in turn, enables the production of grains and food for the country. The search for the input is a demand from entrepreneurs in the agro sector, who fear possible embargoes that prevent producers from buying fertilizers from Russia and Belarus.
In the current economic and electoral scenario, Bolsonaro strives to avoid any impacts to the Brazilian agricultural sector. In addition to being an important sector for its political and electoral agenda, ensuring food production is a defense of the government to avoid inflationary pressure and consequent impacts on the presidential pre-candidacy for reelection.
In addition to the food agenda, the meeting with Biden also puts Brazil on a path of rapprochement with the United States. Both countries were politically closer in the administration of Donald Trump, but relations cooled after the defeat of the former US president.
The realignment with the US and the bilateral agenda at the Summit of the Americas allows Bolsonaro to show that, despite what critics point out, his government is not isolated on the international stage. The Itamaraty and the military argue that the agenda can boost the international projection of Brazilian foreign policy in international forums throughout the year.
What Biden and the US gain by getting closer do Brasil
The US president also has something to gain from rapprochement with the US. Biden sees this realignment as an opportunity to strengthen himself in Latin America as a show of force to Russian President Vladimir Putin. There is an attempt by the US government to approach Brazil in order to weaken Russian relations with the world, since the Brazilian market is important for Russian trade.
The bet on strengthening US foreign policy is important to Biden. Therefore, the United States has been betting on different strategies and political movements to isolate Russia. In his opening speech at the Summit of the Americas, he bet on a speech based on the defense of democracy with the right to pins.
“Democracy is a trademark of our region”, highlighted. “And as we meet again today, it’s a time when democracy is under assault across the world. Let’s come together again to renew our conviction that democracy is not just a defining feature of our American histories, but an ingredient essential for our common American future”, said Biden.
In addition to Russia, Cuba and Nicaragua, which were excluded from the Summit of the Americas, are other disaffected with US foreign policy . During the event, Biden also expressed his desire to finance the post-Covid economic recovery with a focus on the environment and defended the increase in food production for export, an agenda that interests North American and Brazilian agribusiness.
“Over the next few days we will launch other initiatives created in cooperation with many of your countries, which include a US-Caribbean partnership to tackle the climate crisis. A collaboration between the US, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile and Mexico, the largest food exporters in the hemisphere, to increase the production of food for export, as well as increase the production and transport of fertilizers”, he highlighted.
Bolsonaro speaks this Friday
President Jair Bolsonaro was so satisfied with the dialogue he had with Joe Biden that he said he could leave Los Angeles with a feeling of “mission accomplished” . But he still returns this Friday (10) to the Summit of the Americas, where he will address the second plenary session.
Bolsonaro also said that the event was positive for talking to other heads of state in informal conversations. The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, was one of those he claims to have had a dialogue with.
“I can even say that this informal conversation I had with some other heads of state is worth more than a that sometimes has a certain element of tension. We talked to several people, the world is helping us, the Americas too. Brazil is a great country that increasingly stands out on the world stage”, he maintained.