Business

Minimum freight table: a Trojan horse for truckers?

With minimum freight prices codified in law, the Brazilian government wants to avoid a new truckers' strike. But the move might have many unintended consequences

Brazilian truckers blocks a during a strike to reduce oil prices. Photo: Antonio Scorza
Brazilian truckers blocks a during a May 2018 strike to reduce oil prices. Photo: Antonio Scorza

Back in May 2018, Brazilian truckers disgruntled by rising fuel prices went on strike for 11 days—generating fuel and food shortages in several urban centers and causing tens of billions of dollars in losses. The then-Finance Ministry—since rebranded as the Economy Ministry—estimated the losses at nearly BRL 16 billion, caused by drops in industrial output and tax collection. The agribusiness sector was one of the worst-affected, with millions of livestock starving to death and millions of liters of milk being left to spoil.

To bring the strike to an end, then-President Michel Temer decided to publish a reference...

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