Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, met with other South American Foreign Ministers yesterday at the Rio Group summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Following the talks, Amorim declared that at this moment World Trade Organization negotiations are the country’s fundamental and main priority.
He added they were more important than Free Trade Area of the Americas talks.
“The only way to reach our goal of eliminating subsidies and other trade distortions is through the WTO. We could never obtain a favorable ruling on US cotton subsidies in the FTAA, or on EU sugar subsidies in talks with the European community.” declared Amorim.
The Minister went on to point out that with the US election now past history there is more of a chance to advance in FTAA negotiations, which were practically at a standstill.
“The two-track agreement reached in Miami was that there would be a fast track, where those countries making more concessions would receive more benefits in terms of market access, while other countries which made fewer concessions would receive fewer benefits as they moved ahead at a slower pace. That was the only way to avoid a complete collapse of the talks,” explained Amorim.
With regard to recent talks with the European Union, Amorim said: “No agreement is better than a bad agreement.”
He concluded by saying that there simply was not enough time to deal with all the details necessary to reach a good agreement.
Translator: Allen Bennett