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Trump's Trade War Linked to Amazon Rainforest Destruction

As U.S. soybeans sit in silos, Brazilian farmers push to break new ground to satisfy the Chinese market.

As unsold U.S. soybeans are stored in silos across the farm belt, Brazilian farmers and corporations scramble to satisfy the voracious Chinese market. The push to break new ground amid President Donald Trump’s trade war with China is putting increasing pressure on the Amazon rainforest and is likely linked to the region’s devastating fires, according to experts.

“There is concern that market pressures related to the disruptions in global trade contributed to the fires in the Amazon,” a spokesman for the industry group the U.S. Soybean Export Council said in an email to HuffPost. 

Brazil is America’s biggest soybean competitor and has stepped up its production now that China has slashed its purchases of U.S. crops in retaliation for Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports. Soy shipments from Brazil jumped 27% from 2017 to 2018. Chinese imports from Brazil in the 12 months through April amounted to 71 million tons — nearly as much as China imported from the entire world in 2014, according to Bloomberg. 

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