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Trump Says U.S. Will Impose Metal Tariffs on Brazil and Argentina

Westlake Legal Group 02dc-trumptariffs-facebookJumbo Trump Says U.S. Will Impose Metal Tariffs on Brazil and Argentina United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Steel and Iron International Trade and World Market Customs (Tariff) Currency Brazil Argentina Aluminum

President Trump said on Monday that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina, widening a global trade war and hitting an ally, Brazil’s conservative president.

Mr. Trump, in a message on Twitter, said what he called currency manipulation by Brazil and Argentina was hurting American farmers. “Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries.”

The Trump administration never imposed tariffs on Brazilian and Argentine metals, though it did force them to limit shipments to the United States under a quota system last year. The United States initially exempted Brazil and Argentina from the president’s sweeping metal tariffs in 2018, with the United States saying it would continue negotiations with those countries on a trade deal.

It is unclear what prompted Mr. Trump’s message. But last week the Brazilian currency, the real, fell to a record low against the dollar after the country’s economic minister signaled that he was not concerned about exchange-rate fluctuations.

Argentina’s peso has weakened with the country in the midst of an economic crisis.

The surprise announcement on Monday was the latest escalation in the biggest global trade conflict in decades. Mr. Trump has also threatened new tariffs on products from China, Mexico, the European Union, Vietnam and elsewhere.

With next year’s election approaching, the Trump administration appeared to be working toward a resolution on several of these fronts. It has been trying to seal a first-phase trade deal with China, though the two sides are continuing to grapple over terms. And the administration has been pushing for Congress to approve its revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which would check off a major campaign promise for Mr. Trump.

But the tariffs on Brazil and Argentina suggest that Mr. Trump has not abandoned his confrontational approach.

On Monday, he said on Twitter that American stock markets “are up as much as 21%” since he announced the metal tariffs on March 1, 2018, and that the United States was taking in “massive amounts of money” in tariff revenue.

The announcement also revived the threat of steel and aluminum tariffs in particular, which the administration has steadily rolled back over the last year as it reached settlements with Canada, Mexico and other countries.

The president began placing stiff tariffs on global metals last year to stop what his administration contended was a flood of imported steel and aluminum that was threatening American producers and thus American national security. The idea has been disputed, with several countries bringing cases against the United States at the World Trade Organization.

Tariffs have had limited benefits for the steel industry. Many American steel producers supported the tariffs and say they have provided some protection against cheaper metals imported from abroad. But other economic factors have proved more influential, including China’s large-scale production and a weakening manufacturing sector in the United States and abroad.

The tariffs have also angered American manufacturers of automobiles, machinery, food packaging and other products, who must pay more for the metal they purchase.

As of Monday morning, neither the Office of the United States Trade Representative nor the Commerce Department had issued the formal notices that would put tariffs on Brazil and Argentina into effect.

Both Argentina and Brazil have benefited from the president’s trade war with China, which has hurt American exports of soybeans and other products.

Brazil and Argentina have picked up much of that business, replacing the United States as a large purveyor of farm goods to China.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Says U.S. Will Reinstate Metal Tariffs on Brazil and Argentina

Westlake Legal Group defaultPromoCrop Trump Says U.S. Will Reinstate Metal Tariffs on Brazil and Argentina United States International Relations Trump, Donald J International Trade and World Market Customs (Tariff) Brazil Argentina

President Trump said on Monday that he would reinstate tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina, accusing the two countries of artificially weakening their currencies and hurting American farmers.

Mr. Trump, in a message on Twitter, said the currency manipulation by Brazil and Argentina was hurting American farmers. “There, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries.”

The Trump administration initially exempted Brazil and Argentina from the president’s sweeping metal tariffs in 2018, after the United States said it had reached trade deals with those countries.

It is unclear exactly what prompted Mr. Trump’s message on Twitter. Argentina’s currency has weakened but the country has been in the midst of an economic crisis.

But both Argentina and Brazil have benefited from the president’s trade war with China, which has hurt American exports of soybeans and other products.

Brazil and Argentina have picked up much of that business, replacing the United States as a large purveyor of farm goods to China.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Says U.S. Will Reinstate Metal Tariffs on Brazil and Australia

Westlake Legal Group defaultPromoCrop Trump Says U.S. Will Reinstate Metal Tariffs on Brazil and Australia United States International Relations Trump, Donald J International Trade and World Market Customs (Tariff) Brazil Argentina

President Trump said on Monday that he would reinstate tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina, accusing the two countries of artificially weakening their currencies and hurting American farmers.

Mr. Trump, in a message on Twitter, said the currency manipulation by Brazil and Argentina was hurting American farmers. “There, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries.”

The Trump administration initially exempted Brazil and Argentina from the president’s sweeping metal tariffs in 2018, after the United States said it had reached trade deals with those countries.

It is unclear exactly what prompted Mr. Trump’s message on Twitter. Argentina’s currency has weakened but the country has been in the midst of an economic crisis.

But both Argentina and Brazil have benefited from the president’s trade war with China, which has hurt American exports of soybeans and other products.

Brazil and Argentina have picked up much of that business, replacing the United States as a large purveyor of farm goods to China.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

India Reminds: What DC Has Long Pretended Is ‘Free Trade’ – Is Not Free Trade

Westlake Legal Group world-fair-trade-day-logo India Reminds: What DC Has Long Pretended Is ‘Free Trade’ – Is Not Free Trade trade import limits trade Taxes Tariffs sugar subsidies Politics Policy News Judicial India Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade fair trade Business & Economy Brazil

Washington, D.C.’s very swampy denizens have spent the last half-century-plus perpetrating a panoply of frauds against We the People.

Perhaps the most Gaslight-y of them all – has been DCs fake free trade.

We the People have watched DCs fake free trade – dispatch millions of our jobs and trillions of our dollars to everywhere else on the planet.  And our nation – has been hollowed out and caved in.

And when We the People complained about the self-destruction – we were yelled at as nationalist Luddites who are anti-commerce.

Yes.  Our opposition to the guys with guns and masks taking our wallets and watches – is “anti-commerce.”

What they do not understand is – commerce occurs between peoples.  Trade Policy – occurs between governments.  And every government – seeks to advantage its people over all others.

Well, except our government, of course.  Because “Free Markets!!!” – or something.

So our half-century-plus of allowing every country on the planet to favor their peoples over ours – has gutted our people and our nation.

The planet tariffs and limits the import of our stuff – which hurts our stuff.  And the planet subsidizes their stuff – thereby giving their stuff an anti-market advantage over our stuff.

We do very little of any of this.  We do absolutely nothing about their doing it.

Fifty-plus years later – we are in the heinous mess we’re in.

In writing about trade with utterly corrupt Communist China, Nicholas Phillips wisely notes:

“(Fake) free trade with China means allowing its distortions into our market.

“Refusing to allow our government to ‘pick winners’ by rejecting industrial-policy support to key sectors means that Beijing will pick winners for us.”

If we don’t prioritize things for ourselves – the planet will prioritize things for themselves.  And much more often than not – it will be to our great disadvantage.

“Key sectors” you say?  I would say food growth and production is a key sector.

Before you can put on your cheap Bangladeshi PJs and watch your cheap Chinese TV – you gotta eat.

And fake free trade has been devastating our farmers, ranchers and food producers.

By not choosing to defend our producers – we have subjected them to the rest of the planet defending theirs.

To wit:

Sugar: Concern Increases Over Subsidies in India:

“Édgar Herrera, executive director of the (Costa Rica) Industrial Agricultural League of Sugarcane (Laica), explained…:

“‘These (sugar) subsidies are greater than those allowed by the World Trade Organization, in the order of $10 billion annually.  At the same time, it causes an artificial increase in sugar production, which surpasses India’s internal consumption.’…

“‘There is an oversupply, which has caused sugar prices to collapse below production costs. And this causes severe damage to countries that do not have these subsidies, as in the case of Costa Rica.’”

Again: $10 billion per year.  JUST in sugar subsidies.  JUST from India.

Yet again, a country is cheating to help its people – and screwing everyone else.  Not just US.  Not just Costa Rica.  Everyone else.

India’s New Sugar Export Subsidy a Bitter Pill for Australia:

“India has announced a fresh round of subsidies to prop up its ailing sugar industry and Australian growers and millers argue the export incentives are an illegal market distortion….

“Previous Indian subsidies have flooded the global market with Indian sugar, and the latest package will extend the glut….

“Brazil and Guatemala joined Australia in an appeal to the the World Trade Organisation (WTO), claiming India’s export subsidies are an illegal market distortion and formal dispute resolution has begun….

“‘We are stunned by this development, just days after the WTO formally established a Dispute Panel to investigate the legality of India’s sugar subsidies,’ said Australian Sugar Milling Council chief executive David Pietsch.

“’India’s government has approved a massive market distortion. The amount of sugar involved dwarfs Australia’s total annual raw sugar exports….’”

So we wait for the WTO to get its act together and do something about this.  If they ever do.

In the meantime, India strip mines the global sugar market – and every non-Indian in it.

Oh: And a huge reason why India’s sugar production was struggling so mightily?  Which led to their sweetening their pot with $10 billion a year in subsidies?

Brazil has LONG been subsidizing their sugar production – to the tune of $4 billion per year.  Which artificially got them – to controlling almost half of the 100+ country global sugar market.

Again: Commerce is between peoples.  Trade Policy – is between governments.

We’re now in a subsidy arms race.  With governments heading in the wrong direction – ratcheting upward, rather than down.

Which results in:

Brazil Ethanol Boom Pushes Sugar Outlook to 14-Year Low

Our farmers and producers – getting omni-directional screwed.  Yet again.

Brazil Says India’s Subsidy Will Extend Cycle of Low Sugar Prices

If our farmers and food producers can’t get a decent price for their stuff – they’ll stop growing and producing their stuff.

And then where will we be?

In the name of fake free trade – DC has gutted our industrial manufacturing.

Which is inconceivably terrible.

In the name of fake free trade – DC is on the verge of gutting our food manufacturing.

Which is cataclysmic.

Let’s stop pretending fake free trade is free trade – shall we?

The post India Reminds: What DC Has Long Pretended Is ‘Free Trade’ – Is Not Free Trade appeared first on RedState.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Media and Global Elites Are Lying to You About the Amazon Fires

Westlake Legal Group 281460a8-8b0a-4a9d-bb75-4a60d090268f-620x317 The Media and Global Elites Are Lying to You About the Amazon Fires Propaganda Politics political Marcon lying Hysteria Global Warming g7 Front Page Stories Front Page France Featured Story democrats Climate Change burning Brazil Amazon Fires

For the past decade, we’ve seen normal events become sensationalized to the point of hysteria. Take hurricanes for example.

In order to push climate change as a means for acquiring political power, the left have decided to present every hurricane as proof positive of the vast negative, deadly effects of the earth warming. It doesn’t matter that we are actually seeing less hurricanes in the current decade than the decade before or that 2019 has been incredibly quiet as far as hurricanes go. The moment a storm finally appears this year, it will be bandied about for political reasons.

We are seeing much the same tactics used in regards to the fires currently burning in the Amazon. Celebrities and politicians the world over are shouting on Twitter, sharing photos, and making wild claims about the severity of what is going on.

That’s not to say that the fires are good or that there aren’t more of them this year. It is to say the overall picture being painted is almost wholly false and sowing unnecessary fear to play politics.

Here’s Mike Shellenberger, someone who’s studied this for a long time and lived among the people of the area, writing in Forbes to try to bring some levity to the situation.

Singers and actors including Madonna and Jaden Smith shared photos on social media that were seen by tens of millions of people. “The lungs of the Earth are in flames,” saidactor Leonardo DiCaprio. “The Amazon Rainforest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen,” tweeted soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. “The Amazon rain forest — the lungs which produce 20% of our planet’s oxygen — is on fire,” tweeted French President Emanuel Macron.

And yet the photos weren’t actually of the fires and many weren’t even of the Amazon. The photo Ronaldo shared was taken in southern Brazil, far from the Amazon, in 2013. The photo that DiCaprio and Macron shared is over 20 years old. The photo Madonna and Smith shared is over 30. Some celebrities shared photos from Montana, India, and Sweden.

It should surprise no one that same group of people who are always beating the drum that the earth is on the verge of calamity chose to purposely lie and share fake photos to push their narrative. Their lying, misleading, and misrepresentations are nothing new.

But let’s deal with the actual claims being made.

Is the Amazon really producing 20% of the world’s oxygen and is it the “lungs of the earth?” It sure sounds dire, but in reality it’s a mostly nonsensical claim.

I was curious to hear what one of the world’s leading Amazon forest experts, Dan Nepstad, had to say about the “lungs” claim.

“It’s bullshit,” he said. “There’s no science behind that. The Amazon produces a lot of oxygen but it uses the same amount of oxygen through respiration so it’s a wash.”

What about the assertion that the Amazon is burning at an 80% higher rate than 2018? As with many things, context matters and the media are purposely leaving it out.

But the “lungs” myth is just the tip of the iceberg. Consider that CNN ran a long segment with the banner, “Fires Burning at Record Rate in Amazon Forest” while a leading climate reporter claimed, “The current fires are without precedent in the past 20,000 years.”

While the number of fires in 2019 is indeed 80% higher than in 2018, it’s just 7% higher than the average over the last 10 years ago, Nepstad said.

One, the idea that anybody could possibly know with any actual authority that these fires haven’t happened for 20,000 years is ludicrous. Secondly, the reason the reason fires are 80% higher this year than last is because last year was an unusually low year for fires. There is no actual existential emergency here.

In fact, there were higher incidences of burning over the course of 2003-2008 than the current five years. The Amazon wasn’t “lost” or destroyed. Amazingly, trees grow back.

What is happening in the Amazon is not exceptional,” said Coutinho. “Take a look at Google web searches search for ‘Amazon’ and ‘Amazon Forest’ over time. Global public opinion was not as interested in the ‘Amazon tragedy’ when the situation was undeniably worse. The present moment does not justify global hysteria.”

And while fires in Brazil have increased, there is no evidence that Amazon forest fireshave.

Further, deforestation is down 70% from the early 2000s. Over half the Amazon is completely protected from deforestation by law and the increase in fires this year is not from climate change, but rather from farmers needing to burn land for crops and cattle.

In other words, what’s happening is completely preventable. It’s not an uncontrollable, environmental threat to the world due to global warming. You are not going to stop getting oxygen to your lungs because of a 7% increase in Amazon fires over the last decade.

Enough of the lying. It’s incredibly transparent that this is political given the same climate change hysterics who freak out about hurricanes and thunderstorms are latching onto this. Brazil doesn’t owe the rest of the world anything and they need to be allowed to manage the situation without the French president or Hollywood celebrities injecting false information into the debate. It only creates division and makes it harder to work with the farmers in question.

Marcon and others should stay in their lane. This isn’t it.

————————————————

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The post The Media and Global Elites Are Lying to You About the Amazon Fires appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-08-27-at-11.39.59-AM-300x146 The Media and Global Elites Are Lying to You About the Amazon Fires Propaganda Politics political Marcon lying Hysteria Global Warming g7 Front Page Stories Front Page France Featured Story democrats Climate Change burning Brazil Amazon Fires   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Brazil Tells G7 to Keep Their Aid Money, then Burns World Leaders by Telling Them What They Can Do With It

Westlake Legal Group 281460a8-8b0a-4a9d-bb75-4a60d090268f-620x317 Brazil Tells G7 to Keep Their Aid Money, then Burns World Leaders by Telling Them What They Can Do With It Politics Paris Notre Dame Jair Bolsonaro International Affairs g7 Front Page Stories Featured Story Emmanuel Macron donald trump Climate Brazil amazon Allow Media Exception

While the leaders at the G7 summit may have felt good about drumming up $20 million for Brazil to help fight the fires in the Amazon, Brazil is shrugging it off and adding a few choice words for these leaders to boot.

According to The Hill, Brazil representatives said that the money is “interference” and added that the language of accepting the term was too “ambiguous.” Furthermore, Brazil said it never asked for this help and it was decided without the input of Brazil at all:

According to The Hill, Brazil did tell them what they could do with that money, though, and that’s to solve their own problems:

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro‘s chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, also told Globo news website in response to the offer: “Thanks, but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe,” according to Politico.

“Macron cannot even avoid a predictable fire in a church that is part of the world’s heritage, and he wants to give us lessons for our country?” Lorenzoni added, referring to French President Emmanuel Macron and the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris earlier this year.

Ouch.

It’s not entirely clear what was in the agreement for the money, but it was seemingly insulting to Brazillian leaders if this was their reaction. The decision for the funding from the G7 council was made on Monday without both Brazil’s input and President Donald Trump, who did not attend that meeting.

Bolsonaro himself has been called the “Trump of the Tropics” after running a populist right-wing campaign. One of his goals was to open up the rainforest for business development, as Brazil’s environmental laws were “suffocating” the country according to him. He has expressed his belief that the fires were started in the Amazon by nongovernmental organizations to try to make him look bad, according to The Hill.

 

The post Brazil Tells G7 to Keep Their Aid Money, then Burns World Leaders by Telling Them What They Can Do With It appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group 281460a8-8b0a-4a9d-bb75-4a60d090268f-300x153 Brazil Tells G7 to Keep Their Aid Money, then Burns World Leaders by Telling Them What They Can Do With It Politics Paris Notre Dame Jair Bolsonaro International Affairs g7 Front Page Stories Featured Story Emmanuel Macron donald trump Climate Brazil amazon Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Macron panics: Amazon fires are an “international crisis”, Merkel chimes in

Westlake Legal Group Macron Macron panics: Amazon fires are an “international crisis”, Merkel chimes in The Blog Rainforest Jair Bolsonaro environmental activism Emmanuel Macron Brazil Amazon rain forest

French President Emmanuel Macron pushed the panic button Thursday as he called for the fires in the Amazon rainforest to be placed on the agenda when the G7 meets this weekend in Biarritz, France. He doesn’t just want the environmental concern on the agenda – he wants the fires burning in the Amazon to be the first topic of discussion.

Macron calls the fires an “international crisis”. German Chancellor Angela Merkel quickly jumped on Macron’s bandwagon and agreed. She, too, wants the Amazon rainforest fires to be at the top of the list of items to be discussed. She one-upped Macron’s description by calling the fires an “acute emergency”. Macron led with a tweet, as happens these days, and the wording is a little awkward but his message comes across.

The Amazon rainforest produces about 20% of the world’s oxygen. Some call it “the planet’s lungs”, which is why Macron used that term in his tweet.

On August 11, 2019, I wrote about Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro’s suggestions to counter the latest environmental challenges of the rainforest. His opponents point a finger at President Bolsonaro’s support of agricultural development in Brazil as the main culprit. In order to make room for cattle pastures, trees are cut down in the rainforest. A recent study from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) pointed to an increase in clearcutting (40%) in the rainforest as a reason for an increase to the damage done to the Amazon. Bolsonaro came under fire from environmental activists who blame his policies. After the study was published and released, Bolsonaro fired the head of INPE.

Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to meddle into Brazil’s management of the Amazon rainforest isn’t going over well with President Bolsonaro, as you might imagine. Bolsonaro also has a Twitter account and responded to Macron. He even accused Macron of using fake photos to make his case. Fake photos are the new fake news. And, oh yeah, there’s that smell of “misplaced colonialization” in the air.

I regret that President Macron seeks to instrumentalize an internal issue of Brazil and other Amazonian countries for personal political gains. The sensationalist tone with which he refers to the Amazon (appealing even to fake photos) does nothing to solve the problem.

The Brazilian Government remains open to dialogue, based on objective data and mutual respect. The French president’s suggestion that Amazonian issues be discussed at the G7 without the participation of the countries of the region evokes a misplaced colonialist mindset in the 21st century.

Bolsonaro is right, of course. Brazil is not a part of the G7 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US. Bolsonaro won’t be in attendance to speak for his country. It smacks of overreach for Macron to take it upon himself to call for management of the Amazon rainforest to be placed on the summit’s agenda. It also smacks of naked political opportunism. Macron is trying to use a hot button issue like climate change to bolster his comeback in popularity in France. He is enjoying a rise in popularity after his approval rating tanked earlier this year over his handling of the Yellow Jacket protests and riots.

It is nothing new for Angela Merkel to do the bidding of the climate change activists. She, too, uses the subject to appease voters and increase her favorability among them. She’s in agreement with Macron – put it on the agenda.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the “acute emergency” belonged on the agenda, agreeing with French President Emmanuel Macron’s earlier rallying cry.

Mrs Merkel described the fires as “shocking and threatening” and said she was convinced the issue should be on the G7’s agenda, her spokesman said.

Brazil and its neighbors are working to get the fires under control. Perhaps its European betters should just take a breath (lung pun intended).

Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, on Thursday said he had spoken to Bolsonaro and would send three “brigades of specialists in forest fires and environmental research, who will help mitigate the tragedy in the Amazon rainforest”.

I’ll end with this little nugget from Twitter on the topic:

Thanks, Emmanuel Macron. Maybe a nice bottle of Bordeaux and a serving of brie are in order to take the edge off.

Just in as I finished this post: Macron is now threatening to block an EU trade deal with Brazil and its neighbors over the handling of the rainforest fires.

“The president can only conclude President Bolsonaro lied to him at the Osaka summit,” a spokesperson for the Elysee told the Reuters news agency.

“In these conditions, France will oppose the Mercosur deal as it is.”

The EU-Mercosur trade deal reached agreement in principle earlier this year after 20 years of negotiation. Mercosur is a trade bloc that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, with Venezuela also a member but suspended since 2016.

If the deal is ratified it would be the largest trade deal struck by both the EU and Mercosur in terms of population.

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s prime minister, is in agreement. France and Ireland will need other member states to form a blocking minority to veto the deal. The question is, will sensationalism work to convince others to go along?

The post Macron panics: Amazon fires are an “international crisis”, Merkel chimes in appeared first on Hot Air.

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Brazil’s president: Save the planet, “Poop every other day”

Westlake Legal Group cfff75ab-75ca-4889-bdbf-be71503a340a Brazil’s president: Save the planet, “Poop every other day” The Blog Jair Bolsonaro environment deforestation Brazil Amazon rain forest agriculture

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro offered up a couple of suggestions when a reporter asked him how to balance protecting the planet with agricultural development. Eat a little less, he said, and only poop every other day.

The journalist was referring to a topic that has President Bolsonaro in hot water – an increase in deforestation in the Amazon. Official studies have provided data that shows an increase in deforestation and Bolsonaro is coming under fire for it. His solution so far has been to fire the head of the agency that provided that data. The report concludes that deforestation and agriculture are responsible for a fourth of the planet’s greenhouse effect.

“It’s enough to eat a little less. You talk about environmental pollution. It’s enough to poop every other day. That will be better for the whole world,” he said.

This takes government butting into the lives of its citizens onto a whole new level, doesn’t it? Scientists are blaming Bolsonaro’s policies, which they claim favor development over conservation. Experts say that cutting down trees to make room for pastures for cattle is a big problem. In past years, the policies of Bolsonaro’s predecessors included levying fines and confiscating lumber to reduce deforestation. Bolsonaro has dramatically reduced lumber confiscation and convictions of those charged with environmental crimes. He also criticizes the penalties – fines – issued by federal agencies.

Environmentalists are concerned about preserving the Amazonian rainforest because it is the largest in the world and works to absorb and store carbon, which slows climate change. One agency – Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) – used figures from June and July in comparison to those two months a year ago to show an escalation in deforestation. Cue the ominous scary music.

According to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), which tracks clear-cutting of the rainforest, around 2,254 square kilometers (870 square miles) of the Amazon were cleared in July, an increase of 278 percent from a year ago.

That followed a 90 percent increase in June compared to the year prior — figures that Bolsonaro has called “lies,” and which prompted the sacking of INPE chief Ricardo Galvao on August 2.

The INPE director was fired and strident environmentalists are not happy. Brazil’s Environment Minister says the latest data is being used to fundraise and sensationalize.

But Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said the INPE data was published in a way that satisfied “sensationalist interpretations” and was aimed at getting “more donations from foreign NGOs”.

Data from INPE, an institution of international repute, showed that overall deforestation has increased 40 percent in the last twelve months compared with the same period a year ago.

Bolsonaro is described as “far-right” and a retired military officer. He served in the country’s Chamber of Deputies, representing the state of Rio de Janeiro, between 1991 and 2018. His comments about women and minorities frequently come under fire from the woke Brazilian press. I suppose an odd comment about eating less and pooping every other day is a natural progression in reporting. He also points a finger at a rising world population to blame for environmental woes.

“When you see how the world’s population is increasing by 70 million a year, you need a family planning policy,” said the former army officer, declining to use the term “birth control” for fear of an adverse media reaction.

“Don’t make me say that, otherwise (the daily) Folha de S. Paolo will run a headline saying I favor birth control,” he said.

“But you can see that more educated people have fewer children. I’m an exception to that rule, I have five,” he said.

Just as President Trump is blamed for the destruction of American democracy by the leftist extremists among us, environmental extremists claim President Bolsonaro is destroying the Amazon.

“Bolsonaro knows that his government is primarily responsible for the current destruction of the Amazon. The dismissal of the director of INPE is nothing more than an act of revenge against those who show the truth,” said Marcio Astrini from Greenpeace.

I can understand the “eat a little less” part of Bolsonaro’s off-the-cuff solutions if the intention is to utilize less land for agricultural purposes. It’s the suggestion that Brazilians poop “every other day” that puzzles me. Is it to limit the use of toilet paper, thus lessening the need for wood by-products? Is it like the environmental wackos who encourage limiting toilet paper use to a square or two? Eating less would decrease the need to poop but I’m not falling for that line of thinking.

Individual pooping habits vary. Some people may do it three times a day, some may do it every other day, but dictating personal bathroom habits isn’t the job of a nation’s leader. I can’t believe I looked up some information on this but I did. My first reaction that this suggestion can’t be a healthy one may be correct.

A 2010 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology found that 98 percent of its participants pooped between 3 times per week to 3 times daily.

Deviating significantly from the regular pattern may still be considered healthy, but it can also indicate the development of a stomach or bowel problem.

Personal eating habits and bathroom routines are just that – personal. Government overreach, whether it is a serious suggestion or not, is out of line. Surely the Brazilian president will get a better response to deforestation questions in the future.

The post Brazil’s president: Save the planet, “Poop every other day” appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group cfff75ab-75ca-4889-bdbf-be71503a340a-300x153 Brazil’s president: Save the planet, “Poop every other day” The Blog Jair Bolsonaro environment deforestation Brazil Amazon rain forest agriculture   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

From Environmental Leader to ‘Worst Company in the World’

For years, the American agricultural giant Cargill has been on relatively good terms with environmental advocates, praised for agreeing to a landmark moratorium on buying soybeans grown on deforested land in the Amazon rain forest.

In recent weeks, though, that relationship has soured over the company’s refusal to agree to a similar moratorium in another environmentally sensitive region of Brazil and, more broadly, over its failure to meet its anti-deforestation targets. This month, the environmental advocacy group Mighty Earth released a report titled “Cargill: The Worst Company in the World.”

The fierce reaction shows how corporations that fall short of ambitious environmental commitments can be received. And it demonstrates the speed with which a company can go from environmental leader to scourge in the eyes of some advocates.

“What was disappointing was that Cargill got lauded and then didn’t follow through,” said Nathalie Walker, a director at the National Wildlife Federation. “I don’t think anyone is taking a personal view or an emotional view about a company. It’s judging them by their actions.”

Cargill, which acts as a middleman between farms and big food companies, is one of the top exporters of Brazilian soy. Before it committed to the soy moratorium in 2006, advocacy organizations like Greenpeace had pressured the company to stop working with farmers who cleared native vegetation in the Amazon, where rampant deforestation was creating an environmental catastrophe. Eventually, Cargill agreed to the moratorium — a move that environmental groups say has helped significantly reduce deforestation in the region.

The largest privately owned company in the United States, Cargill has never exactly been the darling of the environmental community. But over the years, advocacy groups, often pugnacious in their criticism of powerful corporations, have occasionally lauded the company for its promises to do better. Cargill even received a Leadership in Environment Award for its role in the Amazon moratorium from the Keystone Policy Center, a nonprofit focused on compromise and civil dialogue.

Recently, however, the good will seems to have evaporated. Last month, Greenpeace questioned the company’s commitment to ending deforestation in Brazil, shortly before Mighty Earth released its scathing 7,000-word condemnation of Cargill, which criticized the company for pollution and meat contamination, as well as deforestation.

“It’s hard to hear,” said Ruth Kimmelshue, Cargill’s chief sustainability officer. “It doesn’t feel very good.”

Much of the recent criticism of Cargill is focused on the continuing deforestation in the Cerrado, a vast Brazilian savanna where the company buys large quantities of soy from local farmers. The Cerrado accounts for around 60 percent of Brazil’s total soy production, roughly 20 times the amount grown in the Amazon.

Under Brazil’s Far-Right Leader, Amazon Protections Slashed and Forests Fall

July 28, 2019

Westlake Legal Group xxbrazil-environment1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X From Environmental Leader to ‘Worst Company in the World’ Nature Conservancy Forests and Forestry Cargill Inc Brazil Amazon Jungle Agriculture and Farming

Cargill has refused to agree to a Cerrado moratorium. Last month, the company acknowledged that it would miss an environmental target it had set a decade ago: the elimination of deforestation from its supply chain by 2020. Instead, it released a new “soy action plan” that pledged $30 million toward the development of “economically viable options for farmers as alternatives to converting native vegetation.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_118555829_3398bde0-9ca1-4f19-8add-6cd1caef3576-articleLarge From Environmental Leader to ‘Worst Company in the World’ Nature Conservancy Forests and Forestry Cargill Inc Brazil Amazon Jungle Agriculture and Farming

Cargill has refused to sign on to a moratorium on soy harvesting in the Cerrado. CreditJim Wickens/Ecostorm

The plan is light on specifics. But, in an open letter sent to Brazilian farmers this month, Cargill made its opposition to a second moratorium explicit, assuring the agricultural community that “we understand that this is not the appropriate instrument to solve the issue.”

Glenn Hurowitz, who runs Mighty Earth, said Cargill’s chief executive, David MacLennan, told him privately this year that the company would get behind a Cerrado moratorium.

“They’re speaking out of both sides of their mouth,” Mr. Hurowitz said. “They’re being two-faced in a fairly transparent way.”

Ms. Kimmelshue denies that the company ever committed to instituting a new moratorium and insists that the situation in the Cerrado is more complicated than in the Amazon.

“Different place, different time, different circumstances,” she said.

One important distinction: While Cargill was the largest soy trader operating in the Amazon, it faces significantly more competition, both local and international, in the Cerrado. Chinese companies buy most of Brazil’s soy.

“While we could stand up and say we’re not going to buy anymore, and declare a moratorium individually, that just pushes the problem,” Ms. Kimmelshue said. “We exit, and somebody else moves in. We’ve got to get more deeply involved to help find a solution.”

Cargill’s resistance to a soy moratorium in the Cerrado also highlights the thorny politics facing American companies in Brazil, whose new populist president, Jair Bolsonaro, has sought to roll back environmental regulations and accelerate economic growth. The Brazilian section of the Amazon has seen a major uptick in forest loss since Mr. Bolsonaro took office in January.

Soy is a staple of the country’s economy, and a Cerrado moratorium would create tensions with local farmers, who are legally entitled to clear vegetation across much of the region, said Carlos Klink, Brazil’s former national secretary for climate change.

But environmental advocates argue that Brazilian farmers could continue growing soy on already-cleared land in the Cerrado without damaging the habitat.

“There’s nine times more cleared land than there is habitat you could clear,” said Ms. Walker of the National Wildlife Federation. “There’s a real win-win. Farmers can produce more and expand.”

Environmental advocacy groups are not alone in their efforts to protect the Cerrado. A number of business coalitions are working on solutions to deforestation in the region, including the Cerrado Work Group, a collaboration among soy traders and Brazilian nongovernmental organizations. And dozens of companies — including McDonald’s, one of Cargill’s biggest customers — have signed the Cerrado Manifesto, a pledge to halt forest loss associated with the agriculture business.

McDonald’s did not respond to a request for comment on Cargill’s opposition to a Cerrado moratorium.

Dr. Cleary, the Nature Conservancy official, said he expected Cargill and other companies to eventually agree to a cutoff date after which they would not buy soy from newly cleared areas.

“What’s going to happen in the Cerrado is some kind of agreement with a financial package,” he said. “And it would have to be big enough to encourage enough farmers to move in that direction.”

Still, at least for now, Cargill is being pilloried by advocacy groups for its failure to meet its deforestation target and for its opposition to a Cerrado moratorium. Cargill is not the first major company to fall short of an environmental commitment, and it is unlikely to be the last.

“As more companies step up to the plate and start doing something, there are going to be more companies that are unable to meet those commitments,” said Nancy Landrum, an expert on sustainable business management at Loyola University Chicago. “I just hope they can learn from their mistakes.”

Ms. Kimmelshue, the sustainability officer, acknowledged that Cargill had not acted quickly enough to combat deforestation. “We need to move with a greater sense of urgency,” she said. But she said the company did not regret making ambitious commitments.

“We feel really proud that we were willing to make the commitment and that because of the commitment, we were able to make progress,” Ms. Kimmelshue said. “The progress didn’t get up to where we wanted it to be, but that doesn’t mean we are stopping.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

How Cargill Went From Environmental Leader to ‘Worst Company in the World’

For years, the American agricultural giant Cargill has been on relatively good terms with environmental advocates, praised for agreeing to a landmark moratorium on buying soybeans grown on deforested land in the Amazon rain forest.

In recent weeks, though, that relationship has soured over the company’s refusal to agree to a similar moratorium in another environmentally sensitive region of Brazil and, more broadly, over its failure to meet its anti-deforestation targets. This month, the environmental advocacy group Mighty Earth released a report titled “Cargill: The Worst Company in the World.”

The fierce reaction shows how corporations that fall short of ambitious environmental commitments can be received. And it demonstrates the speed with which a company can go from environmental leader to scourge in the eyes of some advocates.

“What was disappointing was that Cargill got lauded and then didn’t follow through,” said Nathalie Walker, a director at the National Wildlife Federation. “I don’t think anyone is taking a personal view or an emotional view about a company. It’s judging them by their actions.”

Cargill, which acts as a middleman between farms and big food companies, is one of the top exporters of Brazilian soy. Before it committed to the soy moratorium in 2006, advocacy organizations like Greenpeace had pressured the company to stop working with farmers who cleared native vegetation in the Amazon, where rampant deforestation was creating an environmental catastrophe. Eventually, Cargill agreed to the moratorium — a move that environmental groups say has helped significantly reduce deforestation in the region.

The largest privately owned company in the United States, Cargill has never exactly been the darling of the environmental community. But over the years, advocacy groups, often pugnacious in their criticism of powerful corporations, have occasionally lauded the company for its promises to do better. Cargill even received a “Leadership in Environment Award” for its role in the Amazon moratorium from the Keystone Policy Center, a nonprofit focused on compromise and civil dialogue.

Recently, however, the good will seems to have evaporated. Last month, Greenpeace questioned the company’s commitment to ending deforestation in Brazil, shortly before Mighty Earth released its scathing 7,000-word condemnation of Cargill, which criticized the company for pollution and meat contamination, as well as deforestation.

“It’s hard to hear,” said Ruth Kimmelshue, Cargill’s chief sustainability officer. “It doesn’t feel very good.”

Much of the recent criticism of Cargill is focused on the continuing deforestation in the Cerrado, a vast Brazilian savanna where the company buys large quantities of soy from local farmers. The Cerrado accounts for around 60 percent of Brazil’s total soy production, roughly 20 times the amount grown in the Amazon. “The economic stakes are much greater,” said David Cleary, the director of global agriculture at the Nature Conservancy.

Under Brazil’s Far-Right Leader, Amazon Protections Slashed and Forests Fall

Jul 28, 2019

Westlake Legal Group xxbrazil-environment1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X How Cargill Went From Environmental Leader to ‘Worst Company in the World’ Nature Conservancy Forests and Forestry Cargill Inc Brazil Amazon Jungle Agriculture and Farming

Cargill has refused to agree to a Cerrado moratorium. Last month, the company acknowledged it would miss an environmental target it set a decade ago: the elimination of deforestation from its supply chain by 2020. Instead, it released a new “soy action plan” that pledged $30 million toward the development of “economically viable options for farmers as alternatives to converting native vegetation.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_118555829_3398bde0-9ca1-4f19-8add-6cd1caef3576-articleLarge How Cargill Went From Environmental Leader to ‘Worst Company in the World’ Nature Conservancy Forests and Forestry Cargill Inc Brazil Amazon Jungle Agriculture and Farming

Cargill has refused to sign on to a moratorium on soy harvesting in the Cerrado. CreditJim Wickens/Ecostorm

The plan is light on specifics. But, in an open letter sent to Brazilian farmers this month, Cargill made its opposition to a second moratorium explicit, assuring the agricultural community that “we understand that this is not the appropriate instrument to solve the issue.”

Glenn Hurowitz, who runs Mighty Earth, said Cargill’s chief executive, David MacLennan, told him privately this year that the company would get behind a Cerrado moratorium.

“They’re speaking out of both sides of their mouth,” Mr. Hurowitz said. “They’re being two-faced in a fairly transparent way.”

Ms. Kimmelshue denies that the company ever committed to instituting a new moratorium and insists that the situation in the Cerrado is more complicated than in the Amazon. “Different place, different time, different circumstances,” she said. One important distinction: While Cargill was the largest soy trader operating in the Amazon, it faces significantly more competition, both local and international, in the Cerrado. Chinese companies buy most of Brazil’s soy.

“While we could stand up and say we’re not going to buy anymore, and declare a moratorium individually, that just pushes the problem,” Ms. Kimmelshue said. “We exit, and somebody else moves in. We’ve got to get more deeply involved to help find a solution.”

Cargill’s resistance to a soy moratorium in the Cerrado also highlights the thorny politics facing American companies in Brazil, whose new populist president, Jair Bolsonaro, has sought to roll back environmental regulations and accelerate economic growth. The Brazilian section of the Amazon has seen a major uptick in forest loss since Mr. Bolsonaro took office in January. Soy is a staple of the country’s economy, and a Cerrado moratorium would create tensions with local farmers, who are legally entitled to clear vegetation across much of the region, said Carlos Klink, Brazil’s former national secretary for climate change.

But environmental advocates argue that Brazilian farmers could continue growing soy on already-cleared land in the Cerrado without damaging the local habitat.

“There’s nine times more cleared land than there is habitat you could clear,” said Ms. Walker of the National Wildlife Federation. “There’s a real win-win. Farmers can produce more and expand.”

Environmental advocacy groups are not alone in their efforts to protect the Cerrado. A number of business coalitions are working on solutions to deforestation in the region, including the Cerrado Work Group, a collaboration among soy traders and Brazilian N.G.O.s. And dozens of companies — including McDonald’s, one of Cargill’s biggest customers — have signed the Cerrado Manifesto, a pledge to halt forest loss associated with the agriculture business. McDonald’s did not respond to a request for comment on Cargill’s opposition to a Cerrado moratorium.

Dr. Cleary, the Nature Conservancy official, said he expected Cargill and other companies to eventually agree to a cutoff date after which they would not buy soy from newly cleared areas.

“What’s going to happen in the Cerrado is some kind of agreement with a financial package,” he said. “And it would have to be big enough to encourage enough farmers to move in that direction.”

Still, at least for now, Cargill is being pilloried by advocacy groups for its failure to meet its deforestation target and for its opposition to a Cerrado moratorium. Cargill is not the first major company to fall short of an environmental commitment, and it is unlikely to be the last.

“As more companies step up to the plate and start doing something, there are going to be more companies that are unable to meet those commitments,” said Nancy Landrum, an expert on sustainable business management at Loyola University Chicago. “I just hope they can learn from their mistakes.”

Ms. Kimmelshue, the sustainability officer, acknowledged that Cargill had not acted quickly enough to combat deforestation. “We need to move with a greater sense of urgency,” she said. But she said the company did not regret making ambitious commitments.

“We feel really proud that we were willing to make the commitment and that because of the commitment, we were able to make progress,” Ms. Kimmelshue said. “The progress didn’t get up to where we wanted it to be, but that doesn’t mean we are stopping.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com