After Meeting Bush, Brazil’s Lula Says He’s Going Back Home Empty Handed

Brazilian President Lula with Bush in Camp David Brazil and the United States invited El Salvador to become the "pilot" country for the production of ethanol thus helping to save on hydrocarbons, was confirmed in El Salvador by the country's president Elias Antonio Saca.

The invitation was the result of the second US/Brazil presidential summit in a month held Saturday in the presidential retreat of Camp David where presidents George W Bush and Lula da Silva held a two hours meeting in a "most friendly atmosphere".

United States is the world's largest producer of ethanol (mainly from corn) and Brazil follows as the main global exporter, and with possibly the most advanced technology dating back to the seventies when the first oil embargoes and shocks. Brazil's ethanol is made out of sugar cane.

"Today Saturday President Lula da Silva and President George Bush and following on the memorandum of understanding signed by the two countries in early March in São Paulo, have invited El Salvador to undertake the production of ethanol as a pilot case in Central America and we feel most satisfied since this is the confirmation of our energy policy," said President Saca.

"This is an ambitious alliance," added Saca who said that alternative fuels such as ethanol "will give us the opportunity in the future to have fuel at better prices and address the crisis that the world currently faces with oil prices".

Saca said that in the coming days other countries of the Caribbean will be incorporating to the bio-fuels program which will be announced by Brasí­lia and Washington. According to the program in a near future gasoline in El Salvador will be blended with 10% ethanol. El Salvador is entitled to funds and technological support for the program.

"US and Brazil are sending a clear message to the world that bio-fuels are a positive alternative for the environment and will help El Salvador and Central America have a lesser dependency on oil. We're not going to miss this train, because it's the future of the country".

At the Camp David meeting another main issue of the presidential summit besides the "strategic dialogue" on alternative fuels was cooperation on world trade talks and greater access to global markets.

The Doha round of global talks for free trade, which were launched n 2001, have been stalled since last year with developing countries demanding more significant cuts in farm subsides and greater access to markets in rich countries.

Brazil leads the so-called group of 20 which are pressing for freer trade of agriculture. US as the world's main trade power, together with the European Union lead the group of rich nations which protect and subsidize agriculture.

"It is in our interest to work together to make sure that we have a deal that treats Brazil fairly, the United States fairly, as well as other nations fairly," said President Bush during the joint press conference in a small building on the wooded mountain retreat.
"I strongly believe that the best way to alleviate world poverty is through trade."

President Lula da Silva praised the discussions saying "the meeting was the most productive" of all he has had with Washington, although he admitted returning to Brazil with not much more than what he arrived with.

"If someone asks me, 'What are you taking back to Brazil,' I would say nothing. I'm not taking anything back to Brazil," he said, but he was encouraged with President Bush's "commitment to getting it done" and to advance the larger Doha Round talks.

President Bush also said it will take more than the will of just the United States and Brazil to break the logjam but "what we won't do is accept a unilateral deal".




  • Show Comments (5)

  • Ric

    I was not aware that 10% of US motor fuel is now ethanol. I have avoided Shell for that reason. Awful news.

    Anyone who has worked on US jetskis and other equipment here in the Amazon knows what gasolhol can do to mess things up. High humidity, alky sucks in moisture, and they are run infrequently. In the drags in the states guys learned early on how to deal with alcohol. Here they nickel plate parts, use plastic, isolate pot metal from the mix etc. We just bought a new Brazilian Flex VW, most of the problems have been sorted out.

    Ethanol is “Quem nÀƒ£o tem cachorro caÀƒ§a com gato” set to music. The future is Diesel more than spark-ignition alky/gas.

    In northern Alberta, three companies are producing a barrel of crude oil from oil sands for $20.00 a barrel. Soon they will be up to 3 million barrels a day. Alcohol canÀ‚´t compete with that. Dirty little secret: Peak Oil wonÀ‚´t be with us until 2050 at the earliest.

    SO alcohol is interesting, always good to hedge oneÀ‚´s bets, but not a solution. CanÀ‚´t crack ethanol to produce road tar, lube oil, gas, Diesel, naptha, thinner, etc., etc.

    ItÀ‚´s coming of age too soon. 2045 might have been better.

  • ch.c.

    Well done and well said Georges !!!!!!
    Simple confirmation that the article with the headline : With Bush, This Week, Brazil’s Lula Will Be Helper not Beggar, Fox Not Sheep …….was simply a hope, a fairy tale for Brazilians !

    Fact being that Lula was on his knee when asking and on his knee when he went back home !!!!!!!!!

    As I said, if you find normal that the USA should eliminate the import tax on ethanol since you “apparently” can produce cheaper, then ALL you cars plants should be closed down, transferred to China, and then the cars should be imported……TAX FREE…..from China.
    While for the time being not only 1 car is Brazilian, but worse, you charge 100 % import tax for foreign made cars !!!!!!!!

    You cant be right…..both ways ! Chose 1 and stick with it !!!!!!!

    But trying to cheat and hide the reality is a Brazilian…….SPECIALTY…..for which you truly excel !!!!!!!

    Enjoyx and swim into your perpetual contradictions !

  • Pedro Soto

    Empty handed and hopeless
    Lula is empty handed and the Brazilian people are hopeless. Lula failed to deliver what he promised so many times during his long journey to the presidency. Once in power he forgot his origin and his ideology. Now is just another politician without moral, with out leadership and without legitimacy. He is just willing to serve and please the powerful hoping to get their favors.


  • easy

    I wouldn’t be too sure about “nothing”. I live in the US and my fishing boat’s motors are now highly susceptible to Ethynol gas because of the way Ethynol mixes with water. -since June 2006 10% of all US fuel is Ethynol. Clogged lines, tank problems. A lot of motors and fuel tanks on boats haven’t been engineered for this fuel yet and it doesn’t look like they will be anytime soon! But since car tanks are self contained, it’s not a problem to keep out the moisture. For all the water corn needs for growth, this fuel is not the answer, just another option which will not work. Maybe solar again?

  • Professor

    Not even a fruit basket?
    [quote]”If someone asks me, ‘What are you taking back to Brazil,’ I would say nothing. I’m not taking anything back to Brazil,” [/quote]
    Sobel had the same problem.

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