Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, speaking at the Cabo
Verde Parliament, declared, "We do not want to depend on arrangements
with developed nations that distort the international system and condemn us
to eternal dependence on unequal and uncertain concessions."
Lula also spoke of Brazilian
support for the admittance of Cabo Verde into the World Trade Organization,
saying it was in the interest of developing nations to have a multilateral
trade system that was "strong and active."
Lula went on to criticize
developed nations protectionism. "It is unacceptable to have millions
forced to remain in a state of extreme poverty because of trade barriers in
advanced countries," he said.
Citing the WTO ruling
on US cotton subsidies, Lula said it "opened the way for West African
nations to be competitive in not only cotton, but coffee and cacao, as well."
As he did in São
Tomé and Prinicipe, and Gabon, Lula called on Cabo Verde to participate,
in September, in a UN meeting that Brazil is promoting to discuss ways to
alleviate poverty and hunger.
"There will not be
international economic stability or freedom from terrorism as long as we do
not have a world order that is more just and democratic," declared Lula.
According to the President,
the international fight against hunger and misery has already begun. Lula
cited the fund created by Brazil, India and South Africa, calling it "a
demonstration of the moral, political and economic obligation that everyone
has to participate." The fund's first project will benefit Guinea-Bissau
with an agricultural program for sustainable development.
In closing, Lula said
that Brazil had found the route to growth through sacrifices that were necessary
to escape the threats to fiscal and financial stability. The President said
the objective was Brazilian growth that was "sustainable, long lasting
and focused on creating jobs and distributing income."
Discussion on Poverty
President Lula wants the
presidents of the member nations of the Community of Portuguese-Language Countries
(CPLP) to join forces to combat poverty.
"Let's show the world
that we have concrete answers and realistic solutions in the quest to ensure
that everybody can have the right to dream of a better life. The struggle
for development also needs a partnership with the private sector," said
In his speech at the opening
ceremony of the 5th CPLP summit, in São Tomé and Principe, Lula
also mentioned the important role of the community in ensuring political stability
in countries like Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Principe.
"As president of
the CPLP, I have sought international support for the economic and political
recovery of Guinea-Bissau. In partnership with India and South Africa, Brazil
took the first steps toward creating a social fund to finance Guinea- Bissau
development," declared the President.
Lula also announced that
while he is the temporary president of Mercosur [for the next six months]
he will propose a substantial reduction in tariffs on goods from CPLP exporters
so as to bolster trade.
"Our community is
united by language and we seek to preserve that identity. We want new communications
technology to be instruments of social inclusion. We are in favor of a new
economic geography in partnership with the G-90 and wish to contribute to
a successful new partnership for African development," said Lula.
The Brazilian Ministry
of Foreign Relations informed that it is studying how to appeal to the World
Trade Organization (WTO) against the preliminary decision by the United States
Commerce Department to levy a surcharge of up to 67 percent on shrimp imported
On July 29, the United
States Commerce Department, which is responsible for verifying the existence
of dumping practices harmful to American industry, recommended that the tariffs
The recommendation is
a preliminary one, but it was published in the Federal Register of the United
States, and the tariff was slated to take effect on July 30.
According to the Ministry,
"the government regrets the decision, as it regrets all measures that
limit the access of Brazilian products to international markets."
The Ministry of Foreign
Relations informed that the Brazilian shrimp industry presents a high standard
of quality and competitiveness due to favorable natural circumstances, modern
production techniques, and lower relative capital costs.
The Special Secretariat
of Aquiculture and Fishing released a note underscoring the government's concern
over the American decision in light of the importance of shrimp production
to Brazil and the importance of the United States to the Brazilian trade balance.
The Secretariat informed
that it will meet with representatives of the Brazilian Shrimp Breeders' Association,
in the city of Recife, to formulate strategies of access to alternative markets,
in case the 67 percent import surcharge is upheld in the final recommendation
expected in December of this year.
The Brazilian Shrimp Breeders'
Association has five days to appeal the decision, according to the Special
Secretariat. Brazilian shrimp production is basically concentrated in the
Northeast, a region of Brazil in which the activity has an important social
impact, in providing jobs and income to the population.
Thirty seven of Brazilian
shrimp exports are destined for the United States. Last year Brazil exported
21.7 tons of shrimp to the US, for which it earned US$ 96 million, according
to the Special Secretariat of Aquiculture and Fishing.
Since 2003 American producers
have been accusing Brazil of selling canned and frozen shrimp for less than
it costs to produce, which constitutes the practice of dumping. Besides Brazil,
import surcharges have also been imposed on Ecuador, India, and Thailand.
Three weeks ago, the United
States also decided to place tariffs on shrimp imports from China and Vietnam.
The six countries whose sales are being taxed supply 75 percent of the shrimp
consumed in the United States.
Marcos Chagas works for Agência Brasil (AB), the official press agency
of the Brazilian government. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
from the Portuguese by Allen Bennett.