Brazil’s Lula Has Become a Tough and Successful Globe-Trotting Salesman

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that discussions for a Free Trade Area of the Americas, FTAA, must be removed from the "ideological field" and ratified his interest in addressing the more sensitive issues in the framework of the World Trade Organization, WTO.

"FTAA has become an ideological debate with those against it figuring as left wing and those in favor right-wing. It’s a maddening situation," said Lula da Silva in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"Some went as far as saying that if Brazil didn’t join FTAA as fast as possible we would have problems with the United States," added the President addressing a forum for the promotion of foreign trade.

Brazil argues that the US sponsored FTAA talks must firstly address some of the more controversial issues such as agriculture and the end to rich countries farm subsidies, in the framework of the WTO.

"United States has a strong and lasting foreign trade strategy and will only move when the conditions are favorable to its interests," explained Lula who nevertheless did not discard resumption of negotiations with Washington for the Alaska to Tierra del Fuego free trade initiative.

"All the sensitive issues we address them in the WTO and those which are not we sit and negotiate. When the time is ripe we’ll sit with our proposals at each side, and that’s when agreements can be reached," he forecasted.

Brazil is undergoing a boom in exports helped by world conditions but also by an aggressive trade policy promoted by the Lula administration and headed by the President who regularly tours other countries and continents.

"We must realize that before protecting the interests of other countries we must defend our own trade interests, the interests of our corporations and of our jobs. That’s the base from which to advance, to sit and talk," highlighted the Brazilian President.

"Foreign trade policy is permanent and needs to constantly advance".

Brazilian exports are heading for another record year estimated in US$ 115 billion and a surplus of 40 billion US dollars.

"There’s no turning around with foreign trade and we are going to continue with our commitment to open new markets," added the Brazilian President.

Trade and Industry Minister Luiz Fernando Furlan revealed during the forum that Brazilian exports have grown 22% above world trade expansion with sales to countries identified as new markets jumping 100%.

"It’s almost certain we’ll overtake our 117 billion US dollars exports target which originally was scheduled for 2006," revealed Furlan.

This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.

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