President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak by phone Saturday afternoon with the president of Brazil, a nation in which many favored Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Trump – due in large part to his opposition to free global trade.
Nevertheless, Brazilian President Michel Temer sent a message to Trump shortly after his November election victory expressing confidence they could collaborate to strengthen relations between the countries.
Temer has said increasing trade with the U.S. and securing more U.S. investment are keys to lifting Brazil out of what he calls a “very violent” recession, its worst on record.
Trump is opposed to global trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the NAFTA pact with Mexico and Canada, and he has said he would seek to rework them to protect U.S. jobs.
Trump’s election has raised concerns in many Latin American countries due to his views on immigration, and his promise to expel undocumented U.S. residents and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to stem the flow of illegals.
Temer, a pro-business centrist, became president in August after Dilma Rousseff was impeached in the midst of the brutal two-year recession. The Brazilian economy is showing signs of recovery, but Temer still grapples with transportation strikes and street demonstrations against proposed changes to work rules and pensions.
Trump’s conversation with the Brazilian president comes one day after he met at the White House with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In tweets Saturday morning from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Trump reiterated a call for Germany to make a larger financial contribution to support NATO.
During his weekly radio address Saturday, Trump reiterated plans to reverse an executive action from Barack Obama’s administration that was “threatening thousands of auto jobs in Michigan and across America.” This comes on the heels of his visit earlier this week to Willow Run auto plant in Michigan.
The president also said task forces are being established in every federal agency to identify “unnecessary regulation” that is hindering job creation.
Before his phone call with Temer, Trump will receive his daily briefing at Mar-a-Lago – his fifth weekend there since taking office.