Future economy minister says Mercosur not a priority for Bolsonaro’s Brazil

Latin America

Future economy minister says Mercosur not a priority for Bolsonaro’s Brazil

Tuesday, October 30th 2018 – 08:50 UTC

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Bolsonaro views Mercosur as a “cognitive prison,” Guedes explained. Bolsonaro views Mercosur as a “cognitive prison,” Guedes explained.

The man slated to become Brazil’s next economy minister once President-elect Jair Bolsonaro takes office in January 2019 has said the regional trade alliance Mercosur is not among their priorities.

According to an interview published Monday in the Buenos Aires daily Clarín, Paulo Guedes made it clear: “Mercosur will not be a priority.”

Guedes added that Bolsonaro does not plan to break any economic tie with Argentina as he labeled the bloc as a “cognitive prison” because it prevents unilateral trade with other regions and the future administration has set its eyes on the world as a whole.

In addition to Brazil and Argentina, Mercosur is formed by Paraguay and Uruguay, while Venezuela’s membership has been suspended due to the anti-democracy practices of Nicolás Maduro’s regime.

Guedes also announced a series of fiscal adjustment and privatization measures to bring the current US $ 40,000 million deficit down to zero, which will mean pushing for a reform to the country’s pensions system in order “to lower public expenditures …, reduce taxes and generate 10 million new jobs over the next ten years.”

He also explained that “Brazil has had 30 years of uncontrolled public spending expansion, which corrupted politics, raised taxes and interest rates and made the debt grow like a snowball.”

Bolsonaro is expected to boost the recovery path started by the incumbent President Michel Temer which aims basically at backtracking the economy from the policies undertaken by the Workers’ Party of former Presidents LulaDaSilva and Dilma Roussell and foster productivity and fiscal stability.

Between 2015 and 2017, Brazil suffered the strongest recession in its history, which precipitated the institutional crisis that ended with Rouseff’s impeachment and subsequent removal from office.



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