U.S., Brazil Plan to Cooperate on Trade
President Bush and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva plotted cooperation on freer global trade and increased use of alternative fuels in talks that brought the allies together for the second time in less than a month.
Bush called their joint desire to see a global free-trade deal “the most compelling part of the opportunity to work together.”
“It is in our interest to work together to make sure that we have a deal that treats Brazil fairly, the United States fairly, as well as other nations fairly,” Bush said in a joint news conference. “I strongly believe that the best way to alleviate world poverty is through trade.”
The last round of world trade talks stalled last year. Developing countries were upset because rich nations would not make significant cuts in farm subsidies and demanded greater access to markets in the developing world.
Bush said it will take more than the will of the United States and Brazil to break the logjam.
“What we won’t do is accept a unilateral deal,” Bush said.
And Silva, while praising their two hours of talks as “the meeting that was the most productive one” of all he has had with Washington, said he was going home with little to brag about.
The point had been for the two leaders to coordinate on what they could do to advance the larger talks. Silva said he was encouraged, and Bush said the United States is committed to getting it done.
The two leaders’ talks on ethanol followed up a memorandum of understanding to promote international ethanol that the two nations signed when Bush visited Brazil on March 9.
Dan Fisk, the National Security Council’s senior director of Western Hemisphere affairs, had said Friday the two hoped to announce a handful of Caribbean and Central American nations that will be the beneficiaries of pilot programs for biofuels development. There was no announcement.
Before his arrival, Silva reiterated Brazil’s position that the alternative fuel will not gain global traction unless the United States drops a 53-cent-per-gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol.