U.S., Brazil Plan to Co­op­er­ate on Trade

The Washington Post Sunday - - National News - By Deb Riechmann

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.

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