Brazil Calls Protectionism Poison and Not a Cure

Presidents Kirchner and Lula The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, admitted this week that trade with Argentina is "facing problems," but discarded specific measures against Argentine exports adding that any differences between the two countries "will be solved in Mercosur deliberations."

"If there's a problem with Argentina? There is. But we are going to sit around a Mercosur negotiation table to solve it, because that is the legitimate forum to discuss trade issues between both countries," said Lula talking to reporters in Brazilian capital Brasí­lia.

But "it's a mistake to believe that trade protectionist measures can help solve problems. We don't believe in protectionism, we're going to campaign against protectionism and we will reach all those agreements possible," emphasized the Brazilian president.

Earlier in the day Development, Industry and Foreign Trade minister Miguel Jorge also brushed aside the possibility of Brazilian restrictive measures on Argentine imports, "how can we think of imposing trade reprisals on one of our main associates? That's not going to happen."

On Tuesday the president of the powerful Sao Paulo Federation of Industries, FIESP, Paulo Skaf openly called for the Brazilian government to adopt similar restrictive measures to those imposed by Argentina against Brazilian exports.

In late January, Brazil tried to adopt a licensing system for imports before they are authorized and dispatched, which generated strong reactions from most Brazilian trade partners and was rapidly eliminated.

Next week, Foreign Affairs, Economy and Foreign Trade ministers from Argentina and Brazil are scheduled to meet in Brasí­lia, and in March Argentine president will be participating in a business seminar organized by FIESP in Sao Paulo. This will be one of the highlights of her coming official visit to Brazil.

On Wednesday Brazilian Foreign Affairs minister Celso Amorim described protectionism "as a venom and not a cure" for the current global financial crisis and warned that Brazil would appeal to the World Trade Organization every time it is needed "to prevent protectionism" from spreading.

Amorim said he understands governments have a duty to look after their people and jobs, but it is also "equally important that in the search of solutions to current problems, those leaders don't end creating greater problems to others which will ultimately backfire against them."

"For example it's useless for the US to insist with "Buy American," if other countries abstain from that approach," he added.

Amorim made the comments after holding a meeting with the Senate president Jose Sarney to review the main foreign policy issues for this year.



  • Show Comments (14)

  • forrest allen brown

    to protect the rich
    taxes and bank intrest .
    is how brasil keeps its money in country for ther rich , and the politicans .

    JUST last friday i received a tax bill from the brasilian government on the roamdeep so after taking my boat
    for no cause , 6 years later they send me a bill on import tax on it when according to them they took it as i abandond it in brasil after i was deported ??????

    picking on people for saying what they feel ???
    has every one got so thin skined one cant even voice there own ideas that is what the hole forum is about .
    and texan where do you live and what do you do there .

    another point texas exports more than the whold country of brasil

    chc i told you lond ago bad mouthing a whole country for something a few people did to you was rong

  • Dane

    About Ch.c
    I’m Danish but Im living in Sao Paulo… and Im new writing in this forum….

    I have been reading the articles and the comments here lately but never commented in anything.

    As a critic because we are, as humans, all critics.. so I am a critic too about Denmark, Europe and even Sao Paulo where i am living now and other things, but as a critic (and like all the other “normal critics’) I do know how to pay compliments too when something is right of course.

    Some of the articles here did deserve Ch.c’s criticism like this one in my opinion. However, as a Sociologist working for many years in advising companies and various governments in Copenhagen and in Sao Paulo for 5 years, I know normal criticism also comes with compliments and Ch.c spends so much time here and skips all the other articles that do deserve compliments and go to others which are not so reliable to criticize. This behavior does show he has some issues in his life like the one mentioned here about his ex-boyfriend.

    Sincerely, I think he should get some counseling available for free anywhere in Europe. This ‘hate’ he has for his ex- brazilian boyfriend will consume his soul and eventually slashing out on other people who have the same nationality as his ex- like it happens here.

    And you guys, knowing this, shouldn’t make him feel any worse. Not many people can recover easily from the loss of a big love, so give him some space!

  • Joao2

    Agreed !!!!!
    Linderman and Texan here have all a valid point… Ch.c is a jerk who is here motivated by a failed relationship with his brazilian boyfriend… that is why he is attacking anyone on his path Brazil and now America included.. He’s very vulgar and low life

    On the other hand, Toollio and Bo are both right about the protectionism in Brazil… but this is not because of the brazilian people as this racist ch.c here tries to imply… it’s because of our government which the people of this country is totally against ….

    Like Toollio mentions here, for decades Brazil has been one of the most protectionist countries…. and this is ridiculous… not just for people outside Brazil but also for the Brazilian people… if a particular product is not manufactured in Brazil and I want to import it, I have to pay a ridiculous price… and It’s not for private imports …

    iPhones for example, which are not manufactured in Brazil and imported by the Networks Vivo and Claro we have to pay 3-4 times more than the value of the same phone in the USA….

    If you compare the same value of the iPhone found in the USA and the UK (even in poorer eastern european countries), they have all similar prices… It’s our government taxing heavily all imports.. not just cars…. if that’s not protectionism, what’s it then Lula ?????

  • toollio

    The pot calling the kettle black
    Lula, the great thinker, seems to have totally failed to mention that for decades Brasil has been one of the most protectionist economies in all of the Americas. That’s why I pay 100% or more in duties and other taxes whenever I am foolish enough to import something. That’s why the prices of electronics–commputers, televisions etc.–remain two to three times as high as they are in North America. Goods that are imported into the U.S. and Canada (large screen TVs, for example) are far cheaper than the same products supposedly “made” in Brasil (the old Manaus trick). And I just purchased a bottle of San Pellegrino bottled water (I have a weakness for the stuff) that cost R$5.80 for 750m. Yet one litre of the same can be purchased in Canada for less than R$3. This is a small, but important example. Just like in Brasil, this is imported into Canada from Italy.

    But perhaps the best example of protectionist versus non protectionist is Brasil vs Chile. Chile has no-tarrif or low-tarrif agreements with many countries. Imported goods are far cheaper there, and consumers enjoy a distinct price advantage over those in Brasil. That’s also a major reason why economic growth in Chile has outpaced that of Brasil over the past decade or two.

    For Brasil to even talk about the evils of protectionism is a joke. Next we’ll have Lula trying to tell other countries how to run their crime prevention programs.

  • Joao2

    [quote]he’s being a jerk just because he’s got unsolved issues with his ex brazilian lover… his debate has become more like a novel..

    A novel that he is the only loser in it as he was dumped 😀 😀 😀

  • Linderman

    I agree with Texan here…. This guy is being a jerk… He’s extending his criticism to America and other countries (not just Brazil) as if Switzerland was heaven…

    With the amount of time, effort in research he’s putting here, he does sound like he’s got a problem with the world and mainly Brazil due to, as mentioned here, unsolved issues with his boyfriend…..

  • Texan

    Hey Bo my friend… Did I say Ch.c was wrong ? Where do I mention that ?

    I don’t know the figures about Brazil and believe me Im not interested… All countries want to protect their markets… and they do at some extent even here in America, and of course Brazil, China, etc.. etc… That’s a domino effect.. once one starts, the others will follow .. that’s why there’s been a long debate to avoid/stop protectionism .. that’s called globalization my friend….

    I believe you’re totally right about Brazil…. I wouldn’t disagree with you on that..

    However, If you had read my comments properly… I didn’t disagree with him in this Brazilian protectionism issue… All, I’m saying here is this Ch.c. is a jerk who has been criticizing Brazil and now America (especially american universities as I read previously) .. his criticism is going beyond Brazil.. now he’s also criticizing America .. but he forgets his midget country (as he calls it) is no better…. he’s being a jerk just because he’s got unsolved issues with his ex brazilian lover… his debate has become more like a novel..

  • bo

    Hey Texan….yeah, right!! More like Carioca! Ch.C is right on the money concerning Brazil and their stance on protectionism. This country is today, and has been since I’ve moved here 10 years ago, ultra-protectionists!! As he stated, why doesn’t brazil lower their import taxes to the same percentage that they’re charged?

    Justify that and you’ll convince me.

  • Texan

    Let’s not forget that this Ch.c piece of shit is talking shit here about Brazil and the USA because he is racist… his country has a long history of racism towards foreigners especially the ones from poorer countries… and his racist attitude just reflects the attitude of many swiss people…

    Apart from this, he is just talking shit here because he was dumped by his brazilian boyfriend… HAHAHAHA some people just can’t get over… He must be a miserable lonely weird person.. no wonder why his ex-boyfriend dumped him…

  • Shelly1

    On Switzerland
    It is the land of corrupt and the country runs on drug money, on corruption and the suffering of million of world citizens. I bet some of Mad-off’s money is invested there. For a such tiny shit little country (I would never live or visit there), they are considered to be the world’s most unethical piece of shit! CHC.

    Corruption is rampant in your “money-robbed-from-poor-countries!”

  • du48

    one more dig at the swiss cheese?
    UBS losses for 2008 are reported to be about 12bn GBP- 50% more than RBS! Toblerone forever!

  • Texan

    That’s why people like ch.c criticizes here Brazil and USA…. he is part of the racist group in Switzerland… they say: STOP PROTECTIONISM… GIVE ME YOUR MONEY AND LET”S KICK THE FOREIGNERS OUT…

    They seem to be very interested in our pockets but not in our presence in swiss soil…

  • Texan

    Ch.c and his protectionism
    At the Davos meeting, Doris Leuthard said that the Swiss economy is heavily dependent on foreign markets… Now I know why our swiss friend here has strong views about protectionism…

    His midget country is unable to walk with its own legs…

    Furthermore, according to recent news I read, they seem to hate foreigners in their country despite of loving their markets….

  • ch.c.

    We don’t believe in protectionism, we’re going to campaign against protectionism and we will reach all those agreements possible,”
    Then why charging ACTUALLY 100 % IMPORT TAX…ON FOREIGN MADE CARS ??????
    And also why is Brazil (and Argentina) talking of increasing their import taxes on many foreign goods….including some goods from China ????

    Lets face it, Brazil is 100 % FOR LOCAL PROTECTIONISM , but 10’000 against protectionism in OTHER COUNTRIES !

    Simple as that….until proven otherwise.

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