Amazon crisis is a gift for Macron

Willemjan Vandenplas
2 min readAug 25, 2019

The Mercosur-EU trade agreement is particularly bad for the French and Irish economies. The environmental pressure against Brazil is part of the foreign policy of France to get a larger piece of the pie of the trade agreement. The fact is that the size of the Amazon’s fires are as big as in 2010.

The trade off for the positions in the European Union after the European elections in 2019 resulted very pro-Macron, while Germany took a big piece of the pie on the EU-Mercosur deal. This looked like a typical Franco-German share of power.

With the environmental clause of Macron he was able to put pressure on the trade agreement with the Mercosur. It is no wonder that also Ireland took advantage of the Amazon fire, to change the agenda of the trade agreement.

What we see is that the power play of Macron around the Amazon Fire’s echo’s on the European mainland, but China, the US and Britain (with 20 billion investment in Brazil) don’t really care.

For Brazil the trade agreement is not so important, since it is changing it’s market orientation from China to the US. The agro-business and the military are not behind Bolsonaro if we look closer. They want to keep good relations with China, because Brazil has a 20 billion trade benefit with China.

The current trade war between the US and China, is the real topic of the day in Brazil, because China is buying even more soy beans in Brazil. While the US is the biggest exporter of Soy beans, but trade barriers, because of the trade war, are redirecting the demand to Brazil.

If China’s demand lowers in Brazil the agro-business will suffer, the only thing China wants is a stable trade partner. If Brazil and US get there trade agreement, would mean a terrible down shift for the agro-industry, but other sectors in Brazil could become market leader in the US, according to a source.

The current environmental problems are used, because they are useful for France and the popularity of Macron abroad. The fact is that climate, gmo’s, roundup and wild fires are taken with a very emotional charge, while the most of us know that these problems are structural a need to be solved with a sharp scientifical view towards a distand future. The demarcations of indigenous lands have always been a problem.

The position of Ireland and France are rather populistic, since there are no real data showing how much of the wild fires are man made, but it’s true that Bolsonaro’s discours opens the way for more environmental breakdown.On the other hand it is also true that Bolsonaro’s policies are not yet promoting official extraction of Amazon’s resources.



Willemjan Vandenplas

Auteur van ‘Dagboek van een Wereldburger’. Everything here is 'not published' and should be considered likewise.