President Donald Trump offered Friday to help Brazil contain forest fires raging in the Amazon rain forest, putting him at odds with a key ally going into the weekend’s G7 meeting.
“Just spoke with President @JairBolsonaro of Brazil. Our future Trade prospects are very exciting and our relationship is strong, perhaps stronger than ever before. I told him if the United States can help with the Amazon Rainforest fires, we stand by ready to assist!” Trump tweeted Friday evening. Bolsonaro retweeted Trump on Friday.
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The goodwill message comes after reports of French President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to oppose a long-anticipated trade deal involving Brazil as a result of President Jair Bolsonaro’s role in deforestation in his country.
Bolsonaro — a right-wing populist who has repeatedly moved to undermine his country’s environmental protections — has advocated reclaiming the Amazon to exploit its natural resources. He has blamed without evidence advocacy groups of starting the fires to soil his name.
Macron said on Twitter that he wanted to discuss the fires during this weekend’s G7 summit in France. Brazil is not a member of the exclusive group, and Bolsonaro said on Twitter that the idea of the G7 discussing his country’s domestic affairs was “colonialist.”
Trump and Bolsonaro have bonded over their similar styles of populism, and both have advocating using previously protected natural areas for their resources.
Bolsonaro announced Friday that he would send the military to combat the fires. The military will work with emergency services and environmental agencies.
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