In an interview to foreign correspondents, in São Paulo, the special advisor to the Brazilian president, Marco Aurélio Garcia, said that he believes in a negotiated solution to the trade dispute between Brazil and the United States regarding American subsidies to cotton farmers.
My forecast is favorable, we are going to solve it through negotiation,” he said. Brazil has won the process considering subsidies in the scope of the World Trade Organization (WTO). As the US did not comply with the decision, the WTO has authorized the government of Brazil to retaliate commercially in up to US$ 829 million.
The Foreign Trade Board (Camex) had disclosed earlier the list of American products that will have the tax levied on them increased. The list includes, among other items, wheat and vehicles. Brazil also promises retaliation in the areas of intellectual property and services.
“Brazil is not promoting absurd, vengeful retaliation. The country is just complying with WTO authorization. We have a legitimate right,” said Garcia. He pointed out, however, that “the conflict does not interest anybody”.
The measures announced by the government of Brazil may be put in place in 30 days, time considered sufficient to reach an agreement with the North Americans.
Garcia did not say, however, what solution would be acceptable for Brazil to come to an agreement. According to him, the task of finding a proposal that answers to the interests of both parties will be in the hands of negotiators in the trade area. “We are not interested in skirmishes,” he stated, adding that Brazilian foreign policy is “less wordy” seeking results.
Talking about Lula’s trip to Israel, Palestine and Jordan, Garcia told reporters that the president wanted to hear much and see “in person and clearly what the distance that separates” the Israeli and Palestinian interests is. “To build a bridge it is necessary to know the exact width of the river,” he said.
Garcia stated, however, that the president “is not a freshman”, that he is “highly familiar” with the theme and cannot be accused of naïveté in his opinions regarding the conflict. He added that Brazil wants to “help build” the bridge, “but not to be the builder”.
“I think it is more naïve, or malignant, to believe that following in the current route is going to solve the problem,” he stated.