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Brazil Tells US that WTO Comes Before FTAA

Negotiations within the scope of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and agreements with developing countries constitute priorities for Brazil.

This information comes from the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, who defended the model approved in Miami (USA) as a basis for the creation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

After participating in the opening of the seminar on Economic Development with Social Equity, an initiative of the India/Brazil/South Africa Dialogue Forum, Amorim said he hopes that the declaration made by US Secretary of the Treasury John Snow, that this week’s approval of the Cafta (the free trade agreement between the United States and the countries of Central America) will facilitate negotiations over the FTAA, will really be put into practice.

“I hope it will be put into practice, because if for such a small percentage of exports as Cafta represents there was so much difficulty in winning Congressional approval, with only a two-vote margin of victory in the House, I’m wondering how will it be with Brazil’s productivity and with the other Mercosur countries?” he queried.

For the Minister, it is necessary to put the FTAA back on track, and, to do so, it is necessary to establish a program. Amorim argued that discussions in the WTO have been the current global priority.

“Without denying the importance of the FTAA, we are all focused on the WTO, because until we know what is going to happen in the matter of agricultural subsidies, what will be eliminated, and what will be the degree to which agricultural protection is reduced, it is difficult even to talk about the FTAA, because it is difficult to know what to ask,” he affirmed.

The fact that the Cafta was approved by a small margin of votes, according to Amorim, shouldn’t weaken the United States in the WTO, where “the web of interests is more complex.”

For this very reason, he went on to say, “perhaps the US Administration can show it has more to gain and thus can also make more concessions. Certainly it is more than a purely regional agreement.

“For us, central issues such as agricultural subsidies and anti-dumping can only be discussed in the WTO. Not that we don’t want to discuss them in other forums; they are the ones who tell us they don’t want to discuss them in other forums. So we shall give priority to the forums in which we can obtain what we consider most important,” he said.

Agência Brasil


  • Show Comments (2)

  • Guest

    Mr. Marx
    The Communist Manifesto is right on track for the collectivist WORLD

  • Guest

    from Switzerland…..
    highly curious article….your comments on subsidies in developped countries…but none in your country !!!!!

    Are you not the only country in the world with commercial rates at 40 to 60 % and private loans of 80 or more percent…from large local banks ?????

    Are you not the only country in the world with such high rates when your inflation varies between…..minus recently (deflation)…and around 8 % annualized until a few months ago ?????

    Are you not the only country in the world….where farmers get loans at 8.75 % while your selic rate is at 19.75 % ?

    Are you not the only country in the world where farmers get loans at 8.75 % when other people in your country must pay between 50 and 100 % to get a similar size loan ?????

    If that is not the largest subsidy in the world….what is it ???????

    On top of that your farmers cry when there is a drought but dont repay loans in a good year crop…but in lieu….expand by buying more acreage, machinery, increasing the amount of loans…again and again…asking the government for help to defer repayments of loans….. etc etc !!!

    This is what is simply called a vicious circle of indebtness…with no end in sight.

    I remind you that the equivalent of US dollars 7 billions our of a total of 12 has not been repaid in time by your farmers…asking extensions of repayments year after year…wether it is a good or bad crop year !!!!!

    Please tell me what you expect them to do…in once of those future and not distant years….when there will be a worldwide economic simple slowdown (not even a recession) and when at the same time it will be a good crop year ????????

    Based on the natural 4 years cycle….it could very well happen in 2006, or 2007 at the latest.

    Just look how was 2002, 1998, 1994, 1990 and so on…….!!!!
    Here and there you may find a 1 year differential…but this cycle is intact….and has been already powerful….. for decades !!!!!!

    As in the USA they are on the path of interest rates increase…no doubt we will go to a cycle low in the second half of 2006 or early 2007 !!!!!

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