House Ways and Means Dems reject Brazil trade agreement |

House Ways and Means Dems reject Brazil trade agreement

-The Hagstrom Report

Democratic members of the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday rejected the Trump administration’s intent to pursue an expanded economic partnership with Brazil under the leadership of President Jair Bolsonaro.

In a letter to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the lawmakers detailed what they called “the litany of reasons why it is inappropriate for the administration to engage in economic partnership discussions of any scope with the Bolsonaro government in Brazil, which has dismantled years of civil, human, environmental and labor rights progress in the nation since 2018.”

In the letter, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., Trade Subcommittee Chairman Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and other Democrats emphasized the importance of American imports of Brazilian timber and agricultural exports to Brazil’s economy.

They wrote, “The United States is situated in a unique position because it is a major importer of many of the goods that are produced as a result of Brazilian deforestation. The United States is estimated to account for two-thirds of Brazil’s timber exports and is a major destination for goods from cattle farms, such as beef and cowhides, that replace the rain forest and often drive the economic incentives behind deforestation. Instead of liberalizing access to the U.S. market for these goods, the administration should aggressively use its current enforcement tools to incentivize positive change in Brazil.”