The government of Brazil today pledged 500 million reals ($642 million) in loans aimed at staving off a threatened truckers strike.

Presidential Chief of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni said Tuesday at a press conference that the funds will be used to fix roads and provide truckers with credit.

In an effort to appease Brazil’s powerful truckers union, President Jair Bolsonaro recently canceled an intended 5.7% increase in diesel prices. With investors fearing that the president could be adopting a more interventionist strategy, shares in Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras dropped by 13% following his decision.

Last year a truckers strike resulted in a nationwide crisis with an estimated economic impact of $7.7 billion and led to shortages of Petrol, medicine, and food.


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