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Brazzil - Foreign Relations - July 2004
 

Brazil's Lula: 'Only New Order Will End Terrorism'

Brazilian President Lula wants the member nations of the Community
of Portuguese-Language Countries to join forces to combat poverty.
During his visit to Africa, Lula criticized developed nations
protectionism. The world will only get rid of terrorism when we
get a more just and democratic world, says the Brazilian leader.

Marcos Chagas


Brazzil

Picture 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 Lula.

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.

Brazil Appeals

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 from Brazil.

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 be applied.

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 lia@radiobras.gov.br.
Translated from the Portuguese by Allen Bennett.




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