Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed Washington’s interest in strengthening ties with the South American country in the face of challenges such as post-pandemic economic recovery in a phone call with Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes on Thursday.
Yellen “conveyed her intention to deepen cooperation with Brazil to address key regional and global challenges, including support for a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.
The note adds that Yellen hopes to engage in a “productive agenda to help protect the Amazon and ensure sustainable livelihoods for local communities.”
The official has taken the reins of the Treasury Department at a time when the United States is seeking to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 health crisis, which plummeted employment figures in the country.
To deal with the pandemic, President Joe Biden signed, on Thursday, a $1.9 trillion fiscal rescue plan approved by Congress, which many economists have criticized for drastically increasing the national debt.
Meanwhile, in Brazil, the Chamber of Deputies approved yesterday, Wednesday, that the Government allocate up to 44 billion reais (about US$8 billion) in subsidies to the poorest to alleviate the economic deterioration caused by the pandemic.
Since last January, this country has been immersed in the worst phase of the health crisis: in fact, on Wednesday it registered the highest number of daily deaths due to coronavirus, with 2,286 deaths that brought the total to over 270,000, with more than 11.1 million contagions and a growing and uncontrolled curve.
Faced with this situation, aggravated by a hospital collapse in most cities, regional and municipal governments have been forced to restrict economic activity once again, despite criticism from President Jair Bolsonaro.
The United States is the country hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than 29.2 million infections and 530,000 deaths, and Brazil is third in the world statistics of positive cases, which already total 11.2 million, and second in deaths, with more than 270,000 deaths, according to the independent count by Johns Hopkins University.