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Bolsonaro’s Amazon Flame Throwing Unsettles Farming Support Base

  • French president threatens to oppose EU-Mercosur trade deal
  • Exporters worried about impact of ex-army captain’s rhetoric
A fire billowing from the Amazon rainforest about 65 km from Porto Velho, in northern Brazil, on Aug. 23.

A fire billowing from the Amazon rainforest about 65 km from Porto Velho, in northern Brazil, on Aug. 23.

Photographer: Carl De Souza/AFP via Getty Images

As Europeans threaten to block access to Brazilian exports over President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policies, some of the agribusiness players loyal to the former Army captain are starting to fret about the consequences of his rhetoric.

French President Emmanuel Macron issued the most explicit ultimatum yet to Brazilian commercial interests on Friday, stating that France would oppose the trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur, the South American customs union, in retaliation to Bolsonaro’s hostility to tackling climate change. While ratification of the deal is still a long way away -- and German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not share Macron’s position -- Brazilian exporters are uneasy.