Brazil’s meat industry has taken “a punch in the stomach, a blow that this sector did not deserve” with exports plummeting in the wake of a corruption scandal over safety standards, the country’s agriculture minister Blairo Maggi told the Brazilian Senate on Wednesday (March 22). Mr. Maggi showed the figures: Brazil’s meat exports on March 21 fell to just $74,000, compared with March daily average of $63 million.
Dom Phillips writing Thursday (March 23) in the New York Times said that President Temer’s administration “ had been trying to convince foreign investors that Brazil is serious about restoring its beleaguered economy, with austerity measures and proposals to make sweeping changes to the pension system”.
“This is clearly a setback in the government’s effort to turn Brazil around,” said Oliver Stuenkel, a professor of international relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo said to the NYT. “It just contributes to a general notion that things are a bit out of control, that Brazil is rudderless.”
The minister believes Brazil may face losses totaling up to a yearly $1.5 billion following the developments of Operation Weak Flesh. “Losses are sure to be heavy,” he added.