February 24th, 2023


1. Federal government defends social media regulation at UNESCO forum

In a letter to UNESCO on the occasion of the “Internet for Trust” conference, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva advocated for international regulation of social media.

In the document, Lula says that attacks on democracies cannot be tolerated, and that social media regulation must be implemented with transparency, alongside governments, experts, and civil society.

According to Lula, the attacks perpetrated by extremists in Brasília on January 8th were the result of a misinformation campaign on social media.

As a strategy to accelerate regulations in Brazil, the federal government will suggest changes to the Fake News Bill (PL 2630) currently being discussed by the Chamber of Deputies. The administration is also considering drafting a bill similar to one created by the European Union to implement rules and strict penalties for big tech companies.

Valor Econômico: Em carta à Unesco, Lula pede regulação internacional das redes sociais 
CNN: Em carta para fórum da Unesco, Lula defende regulação das redes sociais contra desinformação  
CNN: Governo quer usar PL das Fake News para acelerar regulamentação das redes sociais 

2. Companies work to mitigate the effects of the São Paulo coast tragedy    

The federal government declared a state of public emergency in six municipalities along the coast of São Paulo. The emergency is a result of the extreme rains that killed dozens of people and displaced thousands. The rainfall was the heaviest ever recorded in a 24-hour period in Brazil.

Private companies are working to support the cities by donating food, medication, and other necessary goods. Many institutions have also donated money or sent people and machinery to help search for survivors and assist in the clearance of debris.

The press is questioning how much the state government has invested in mitigating disasters such as this. The 2023 State Budget for Risk Management and Disaster Prevention is the smallest it has been in 14 years, at just R$ 1.17 billion according to Associação Contas Abertas.

São Paulo state governors who held office between 2011-2022 spent less than 62% of the total available disaster prevention budget during this period, according to the institution.

Metrópoles: Tragédia em SP: verba para prevenção a desastres é a menor dos últimos 14 anos 

3. New income tax rules will exempt 13.7 million people

According to the Federal Revenue of Brazil, 13.7 million people will be exempt from paying income tax once new changes come into effect on May 1st. These changes are one of the promises made by Lula during his presidential campaign.

Under the new rules, workers who get paid up to two times the minimum wage (a total of R$ 2,640 per month) will be exempt. The changes will result in 40% fewer people paying the tax in comparison to 2022. Last year, 32 million Brazilians filed tax returns.

The press has been discussing the consequential loss of revenue for the government. According to the Federal Revenue of Brazil, the government will lose R$ 3.2 billion in 2023 and R$ 6 billion in 2024. However, these numbers differ from the Fiscal Auditors Union’s (SINDIFISCO) estimate of R$ 14 billion this year.

UOL: 13,7 milhões deixam de pagar IR após a correção da tabela 
Money Times: Imposto de Renda: 13,7 milhões deixarão de pagar IR 

4. Brazil suspends beef exports to China following case of “mad cow” disease

Brazil has suspended beef exports to China after identifying a case of “mad cow” disease in Pará. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the World Organization for Animal Health has been notified and tests have been conducted to confirm if the case is atypical, as the disease can sometimes occur spontaneously in elderly cattle with no risk of spreading.

The disease was observed in an animal on a small farm in Marabá, in Pará. No other animal from the farm was slaughtered, which means no currently available beef originated from the farm.

The Brazilian government awaits China’s approval to resume exports before Lula visits the country, which is set to happen in March. Slaughtering cows is suspended in many different regions in the country, and cattle prices have fallen significantly.  

Valor Econômico: Brasil suspende exportações de carne bovina à China devido a caso de “vaca louca” 
Estadão: Governo confirma caso de doença da ‘vaca louca’ no Pará e suspende exportações para a China 

5. Brazil prepares incentives to attract semiconductor manufacturers

Aiming to decrease Brazil’s dependency on imports, the federal government plans to create incentives for semiconductor manufacturing in the country.

Among these incentives are reducing taxes, easing bureaucracy for the import of components, and encouraging the capacitation of workers for the production of the items.

These measures have been put into place after some sectors stated that a shortage of computer chips and other components was hampering their production. The automotive sector revealed that 15 million more vehicles could have been produced and that the component shortage is likely to continue in 2024. 

O Globo: Chips ‘made in Brazil’: governo prepara política para atrair fabricantes de semicondutores