Deforestation in the Amazon: Trump’s Trade War Was Bad Enough, Then Came Bolsonaro

Deforestation in the Amazon: Trump’s Trade War Was Bad Enough, Then Came Bolsonaro
Deforestation in the Amazon near the Juruena National Park in Brazil, March 23, 2017 (DPA photo by Isaac Risco-Rodriguez via AP Images).

From 2004 to 2012, the rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon dropped more than 80 percent, even as Brazil’s agricultural production continued to grow. But that progress in protecting a fragile and essential ecosystem reversed in recent years, before the outlook got even worse. First, U.S. President Donald Trump launched a trade war with China, shifting more Chinese demand for soybean products from the United States to Brazil, potentially leading to more deforestation to meet the demands of Brazilian agriculture. Then, last month Brazilians elected the far-right Jair Bolsonaro as president, a major supporter of agribusiness who has vowed […]

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