Brazil's Bolsonaro rejects Trump currency manipulation charge

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro (R) and Donald Trump were in step when they met in June 2019 in Japan, but the US president has since announced plans to reimpose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

Sao Paulo (AFP) - President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday rejected US accusations that Brazil has weakened its currency against the dollar, instead blaming global factors, after Washington announced plans to reimpose tariffs on Brazilian steel and aluminum.

Bolsonaro's remarks come after he was blindsided by President Donald Trump's announcement Monday about tariffs, which also would affect Argentina.

Trump charged the Latin American countries with "presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies."

"We are not artificially increasing the price of the dollar," said Bolsonaro, who considers himself an ideological ally of Trump, outside his residence in the capital Brasilia.

"The world is globalizing -- even the fight between the United States and China impacts the price of the dollar here."

The Brazilian currency slid to a historic low of 4.27 reais to the dollar toward the end of November, prompting the central bank to intervene to prop it up.

Bolsonaro denied he was disappointed by Trump's announcement, saying the case was "not closed."

"For now, no tariff has been imposed -- there's only Trump's promise on Twitter."

He added: "I believe in Trump... we have an agreement, very cordial contact."

Bolsonaro's remarks come a day after official data showed Brazil's economy -- Latin America's biggest -- picked up pace in the third quarter, growing a better-than-expected 0.6 percent from the previous three-month period.