Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is now coming to criticism in his own country for his controversial environmental policy. The governors of the Amazon fear international economic sanctions and a serious image damage because of the dispute over the aid for the forest fires.
"If Brazil isolates itself internationally, it will face serious trade sanctions against our producers," said Maranhão state governor Flávio Dino at a meeting of governors with Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro had previously demanded an apology from French President Emmanuel Macron before accepting the aid offered by the G7 countries in the firefighting operations. He accused Macron of calling him a liar and questioning the sovereignty of the Amazon.
"I think we should now take care of our problems and signal the world of environmental diplomacy because it is fundamental to agriculture, otherwise we will suffer serious damage to our image, which is already giving cause for concern," said the Governor of Pará, Hélder Barbalho.
Pressure from the EU, backing from Trump
Some European countries now use the free trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur as a lever against Bolsonaro's environmental policy. Brazilian farmers are therefore worried about their beef and soybean export business. "The rainforest must not burn for new soybean fields," said Development Minister Gerd Müller of Passauer Neue Presse. "An important step would be to dispense with pig fattening based on cheap soya imports from cleared areas."
Bolsonaro had recently claimed that non-governmental organizations could have planted the forest fires to avenge the removal of public funds and discredit his government. "I'm not one of those who demonize non-governmental organizations," Governor Dino said on this charge. "I think that's a mistake, because there are very serious NGOs in the world and in Brazil."
Bolsonaro was backed by US President Donald Trump. "I got to know President Jair Bolsonaro well," he wrote on Twitter. "He works very hard for the fires in the Amazon and does a great job for the Brazilian people."
Bolsonaro also thanked Twitter: "Thank you, President Trump, we are fighting the forest fires with great success Brazil is and always will be an international reference in sustainable development The fake news campaign against our sovereignty will not work."