Brazil Lacks Power to Pursue Isolationism, Temer Warns Successor

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil lacks both the economic and political power to isolate itself from the rest of the world, President Michel Temer told a gathering of foreign journalists in Brasilia on Thursday.

With less than a month to go until the end of his mandate, Temer stressed the importance of multilateralism, trade with China and the Paris Accord on climate change, all of which have come in for criticism by President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

"I think that foreign policy will carry on as before, with a greater emphasis towards the U.S.," Temer said, adding that Brazil currently had good relations with China which have yielded good results.

In 2009 China overtook the U.S as Brazil’s top trading partner and has remained in that position ever since. During his election campaign, Bolsonaro was highly critical of Chinese investment in Brazil and toyed with the idea of withdrawal from the Paris Accord. Although as president-elect he has backtracked on both issues, on Thursday his son Eduardo, one of the leader’s of Bolsonaro’s party in the incoming Congress, told the newspaper Valor that he aims for the U.S to become Brazil’s top trading partner once more.

Temer told journalists that he believed in the success of the Bolsonaro government. The outgoing president, who was almost toppled in a corruption scandal following the leaking of a secretly recorded conversation he held with a prominent businessman, also had a word of advice for his successor.

"Don’t trust people," he said. "Only meet those who are on the agenda."

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