Brazil: President Michel Temer  

Michel Temer took office in August of 2016 following the impeachment and removal of his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff. Temer is the president of the centrist Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB). In the run up to Rousseff’s impeachment PSDB released its manifesto, Bridge to the Future, in which it outlined its new policies. Its policies focus on rebalancing Brazil’s budget by, among other plans, increasing the minimum retirement age, reducing the scope of social programs, cutting fiscal spending on public medical care, and cutting fiscal spending on public education. The Bridge to the Future also emphasized pro-market reforms, including opening up the oil industry to the international market and attracting new foreign investment to Brazil.

Upon assuming office, Temer inherited the worst economic recession Brazil has seen in over a hundred years and a fiscal deficit of over 10% of Brazil’s GDP. To combat the crisis Temer pushed forward with the policies outlined in his party’s manifesto and introduced a mixture of tough austerity measures and pro-market reforms. Temer aimed to attract investors and much-needed capital, as well as give Brazil’s production a boost by deregulating Brazil’s financial market and privatizing its state-owned oil industry. Since the reforms have been implemented, both Brazil’s stock market and currency have strengthened, while inflation and interest rates have decreased. Temer’s economic reform is one of two parts in his plan to integrate Brazil more fully into the international community. In addition to globalizing Brazil’s economy, Temer has implemented, what he calls a non-ideological foreign policy centered on trade and securing foreign investment.  Temer’s non-ideological foreign policy is a major change from his predecessors’ neoliberal, multilateral-focused foreign policies.

Prior to last year’s G20 Summit in Hamburg, Temer originally announced he would not be attending the summit to work on labor reform. However, he made a last minute decision to attend the summit in Hamburg in an efforts to work on foreign investments for Brazil and strengthen Brazil’s economy, a central theme of Temer’s political agenda. It is likely that with the upcoming G20 Summit, these goals will also be reflected in Temer’s goals for his meetings with the G20 in Argentina.

“We cannot ignore that Brazil faces a very serious economic and political crisis.”

“When you have a new government assume power, everyone, without exception, has to work for the benefit of the common good.”

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