President Donald Trump never agreed to the aid package proposed by the G7 attendees to help put out fires in the Amazon, a spokesman for the Trump administration said on Wednesday.
The $20 million package to help Brazil combat the fires was announced earlier this week by French President Emmanuel Macron, who said that G7 nations had committed to fund the effort, adding that the U.S. was also supportive of the proposal although President Trump didn’t attend the climate change session as part of the summit.
National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis on Wednesday refuted Macron’s claim, saying that the U.S. administration had not committed to the financial aid, citing a lack of coordination with the Brazilian government.
“The United States stands ready to assist Brazil in its efforts to combat these fires, and did not agree to a joint G7 initiative that failed to include consultations with President (Jair) Bolsanaro,” he said in a statement. “The most constructive way to assist is in coordination with the government of Brazil.”
Marquis further stressed that the United States has “a strong history” of engaging in conservation efforts in the region, pointing to the $80 million Partnership for Conservation of Amazon Biodiversity. His statement mirrored that of the Brazilian president’s government.
Bolsonaro rejected the aid package from the G7 nations amid an ongoing disagreement with his French counterpart. Bolsonaro’s chief of staff called the aid offer “colonialist and imperialist,” but since then, Bolsonaro has indicated that he would accept the financial aid provided that Macron withdrew his criticism of him.
His country has likewise accepted $12 million aid from the government of Britain, a member of the G7, CNN informs.