Ways and Means Democrats Strongly Oppose Expanding Economic Relations with President Bolsonaro’s Brazil

Jun 3, 2020
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Committee Democrats expressed their opposition to the Trump Administration’s intent to pursue an expanded economic partnership with Brazil under the leadership of President Jair Bolsonaro. In a letter to Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, the lawmakers detailed 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.
“Through reprehensible rhetoric and actions, the Bolsonaro government in Brazil has demonstrated its complete disregard for basic human rights, the need to protect the Amazon rainforest, the rights and dignity of workers, and a record of anticompetitive economic practices. In addition to being worthy of condemnation in their own right, these positions and actions demonstrate that Brazil under Bolsonaro could not credibly be prepared to assume the new standards for worker rights and environmental protections established in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” wrote Ways & Means Democrats.
“We strongly oppose pursuing any type of trade agreement with the Bolsonaro government in Brazil. Enhancing the U.S.-Brazilian economic relationship at this time would undermine the efforts of Brazilian human, labor, and environmental rights advocates to advance the rule of law and protect and preserve marginalized communities,” concluded the lawmakers. “Instead, we urge you to aggressively address these issues by using U.S. enforcement tools and by raising them with your Brazilian counterparts through other, more appropriate, channels.”
In addition to Chairman Neal, Trade Subcommittee Chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), along with Representatives John Lewis (D-GA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Mike Thompson (D-CA) , John B. Larson (D-CT), Ron Kind (D-WI), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Terri A. Sewell (D-AL), Suzan K. DelBene (D-WA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Daniel T. Kildee (D-MI), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (D-VA), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Bradley S. Schneider (D-IL), Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), and Steven Horsford (D-NV) signed on to the letter.
The full text of the letter is available HERE.