Brazil to merge agriculture and environment ministries

October 31, 2018 GMT

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s environment ministry is raising concerns about president-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s plan to merge it with the agriculture ministry, saying it would have a negative impact on the country’s economy.

The plan to combine the ministries was announced on Tuesday by Bolsonaro’s likely chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni.

Environment Minister Edson Duarte said Wednesday that the merger could prompt “possible trade retaliations from importing counties” that might damage agribusiness.

The nonprofit group Observatorio do Clima said joining the two ministries would “undermine the competitiveness of Brazilian agribusiness, which depends on strong environmental governance.”