Insider

Guedes says Brazil should “not give a f***” about France

Guedes scream France
Paulo Guedes has beef with France. Photo: Wilson Dias/ABr

While discussing international trade at an event held by Brazilian bar and restaurant association Abrasel on Tuesday, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes complained that France is becoming “irrelevant” to Brazil and suggested the country should turn its back on the European nation.

“At the beginning of the century, our trade with [France] was USD 2 billion. It was USD 2 billion with China too. Now, we trade USD 7 billion with [France] and USD 120 billion with China,” said Mr. Guedes.

He warned that if France does not start “treating Brazil well,” the country should start “not giving a fuck” about France.

The two countries’ relationship has been strained in recent years, and this is not Mr. Guedes’s first jab at Paris.

In 2019, what started as an expression of international concern about forest fires in the Amazon became an exchange of accusations and insults, with arguments varying from challenges to Brazilian sovereignty to quips about the physical appearance of the French First Lady, Brigitte Macron — whom Mr. Guedes called “really ugly.”

To add a further ingredient into the mix, France is the main obstacle to the ratification of the free trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur, of which Brazil is the richest member.