On Tuesday, Brazil’s future Minister of Economics, Paulo Guedes, clarified a statement made hours after Jair Bolsonaro was elected president of Brazil about Argentina and the Mercosur trading bloc not being “a priority” for the future administration.
Surrounded by a group of over thirty reporters on the street, Guedes claimed that his words on Sunday were misinterpreted, and that what he meant to say was that he sees greater problems in Brazil than trade.
“Our main problem today is the internal imbalance — the fiscal deficit,” said Guedes. “So I never wanted to detract from Mercosur and Argentina. What I meant to say is that my priority today is public spending. So, nothing against Mercosur. It’s just not a priority.”
The clarification comes on the heels of a stream of controversial decisions made by Brazil’s future administration regarding its relationship with Argentina. For example, Bolsonaro is planning on breaking from tradition and not visiting its main regional trading partner, Argentina, in his first trip as President, as he decided to go to Chile, the US and Israel instead.