South American countries restricting cargo trucks from Brazil

South America restricting cargo trucks
Road at the Argentina-Chile border. Photo: SunShine/Shutterstock

Only seven countries in the world allow travelers coming from Brazil to enter their borders with mild or no restrictions. As Brazilian tourists become global pariahs, its neighboring countries are going one step further, restricting the entry of cargo over land. Argentina and Chile demand negative Covid-19 tests from any truck drivers arriving from Brazil, before they are allowed to cross the border.

The move is a blow to Brazilian exports of manufactured goods, which are largely sent around South America by road. Trucks carry:

  • 52 percent of Brazilian exports to Argentina;
  • 45 percent of Brazilian exports to Chile.

In a statement, the Brazilian government says it is negotiating to overturn these restrictions — which could cost USD 180 per day per vehicle, according to an association of logistics companies.

Some experts, however, believe there is no wiggle room. Either Brazil complies with the demands, or exports will be hit hard. That could increase the pressure on President Jair Bolsonaro, who already faces a Senate hearings committee on his pandemic response.