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LATIN AMERICA | 21-02-2020 16:26

Brazil to woo Tesla during Bolsonaro’s trip to United States in March

On his Twitter account, President Jair Bolsonaro expressed his desire to convince the electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla to set up a factory in the South American country for his fourth trip to the USA.

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro will travel to the US next month for the fourth time in a year with a pro-business agenda that includes trying to convince electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc. to set up a plant in the South American country.

Bolsonaro’s visit will be on March 7-10 and his plans include attending a business seminar in Miami, according to the presidency’s press office. 

On Twitter, Bolsonaro said his “extensive agenda” consists of the possibility of Tesla building a factory in Brazil, without providing further details. The Palo Alto-based company didn’t immediately reply a request for comment.

Since taking office last year, the far-right leader has revamped his nation’s foreign policy by pursuing closer ties with the US and its allies while eschewing multilateralism. 

So far, those efforts have yielded mixed results. While US President Donald Trump plans to promote Brazil’s bid to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and refrained from placing tariffs on Brazil’s steel, he has also upheld a ban on the country’s fresh beef.

An encounter between Trump and Bolsonaro during his visit is almost a given, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters in Washington on Friday.

“I would almost certainly expect him to be meeting with President Trump, they are friends, looking forward to the bilateral,” he said.

Nicknamed by some as “Trump of the Tropics,” the 64 year old Head of State has made his admiration of his US counterpart no secret. 

The Brazilian president has repeatedly forecast Trump will win re-election this year and has even gone as far as broadcasting himself watching the US head of state’s speeches.

While in the US, Bolsonaro will also participate in the event “Brazil-US Business Relations in Florida” organised by export agency Apex. 

More than 300 business executives are expected to attend the seminar, which will feature presentations on Brazil’s economic outlook, business climate and efforts to privatize billions of dollars in state-controlled assets.

The Brazilian presidency’s press office wasn’t immediately able to confirm whether or not Bolsonaro will meet Trump during the March trip.

by Simone Iglesias and Josh Wingrove, Bloomberg

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