Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Why the US–China trade war spells disaster for the Amazon

Soy fields border untouched Cerrado forest in the Matopiba region of Brazil

Fields of soya beans (left) sit alongside untouched natural forest in the Cerrado ecoregion of Brazil. Credit: Marizilda Cruppe/Greenpeace

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Nature 567, 451-454 (2019)



  1. Boucher, D. in The Root of the Problem: What’s Driving Tropical Deforestation Today? (eds Boucher, D. et al.) 31–39 (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2011).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAOSTAT database (FAOSTAT, 2018); available at

  3. Nguema, A. & Ward, M. People’s Republic of China: Oilseeds and Products Update (US Department of Agriculture, 2018).

  4. US Department of Agriculture. Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade — China Soybean Imports Lowered (USDA, November 2018); available at

  5. Lambin, E. F. et al. Nature Clim. Change 8, 109–116 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Heffer, P., Gruère, A. & Roberts, T. Assessment of Fertilizer Use by Crop at the Global Level 2014–2014/15 (International Fertilizer Association & International Plant Nutrition Institute, 2017).

  7. Zeimetz, K. A. Effects on the USSR of the 1980 US Embargo on Agricultural Exports Staff Reports 277946 (US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, 1987).

  8. Barona, E., Ramankutty, N., Hyman, G. & Coomes, O. T. Environ. Res. Lett. 5, 024002 (2010).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Grassi, G. & Dentener, F. JRC Science For Policy Report: Quantifying the Contribution of the Land Use Sector to the Paris Climate Agreement (EC Joint Research Centre, 2015).

  10. Gullison, R. E. et al. Science 316, 985–986 (2007).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Dirzo, R. & Raven, P. H. Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 28, 137–167 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Kastens, J. H., Brown, J. C., Coutinho, A. C., Bishop, C. R. & Esquerdo, J. C. D. M. PLoS ONE 12, e0176168 (2017).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Brown, C., Alexander, P., Arneth, A., Holman, I. & Rounsevell, M. Nature Clim. Change 9, 203–208 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Lamperti, F., Napoletano, M. & Roventini, A. Macroecon. Dyn. (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Supplementary Information

  1. Supplementary Information - Methods
  2. Supplementary Information - Data


Latest on:

Nature Careers


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing


Quick links