Brazil announces financial package to avoid truckers' strike

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has announced a financial package aimed at staving off a potential truckers' strike.

Chief of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni said Tuesday that the Brazilian Development Bank will be providing 2.5 billion reals ($642 million) to fix roads and provide truckers' credit.

Bolsonaro canceled a planned 5.7% increase in diesel prices last week in a move aimed at appeasing powerful truckers' unions. The decision caused shares in Brazil's state oil company Petrobras to drop more than 13%, with many investors fearing that it could signal a more interventionist strategy by the president.

A truckers' strike last year caused a nationwide crisis that had an estimated economic impact of $7.7 billion and led to shortages of food, medicine and petrol.