Brazil Appeals to Neighbors to Cut Dependency on the US and EU

Brazil's Lula and Colombia's Uribe Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Alvaro Uribe, the presidents of Brazil and Colombia, respectively, vowed Saturday, July 19, to boost trade and investment between their nations ahead of crucial world trade talks this week. Lula urged Colombia and the region to increase trade ties "so we aren't left dependent on a single partner," such as the US or European Union.

Lula called on European leaders attending the so-called Doha Round trade talks this week in Geneva to maintain farm ties with poor and developing nations, which have demanded that wealthy countries slash farm tariffs and subsidies that they say hinder development.

Wealthy nations on the other hand have insisted that developing countries grant manufacturers and service providers a better access to their markets. The impasse looms large as negotiators gather to try to save seven years of frustrating talks on a new global trade pact.

"We want to negotiate, but we don't want to keep our countries from having the opportunity to develop in the 21st century," said Lula adding that he is optimistic an agreement can be reached giving "poor nations better opportunities in international trade."

The Brazilian president also criticized a set of controversial European Union immigration guidelines, passed in June, that seek to standardize deportation processes, fingerprint all visitors and use a satellite system to keep out illegal immigrants.

"The only thing we want is for our brothers to be treated the same way as we treated them (Europeans) when they came here," Lula said of the guidelines.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe meanwhile urged Brazil to boost investment in his country, particularly in infrastructure and bio-fuel projects. More than 30 large Brazilian steel, oil and other companies now operate in Colombia, while Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol has been invited to help develop huge oil fields recently discovered in Brazil.

Brazil also announced plans to spend US$ 650 million on a railroad that will transport 10 million tons of coal a year through three Colombian states – its latest move to finance infrastructure projects that will expand its reach in markets across South America.

Brazilian Colombian bilateral trade in 2007 reached US$ 2.7 billion with Brazil exporting US$ 2.2 billion. Brazil's trade surplus with member nations of the Latin American Integration Association has climbed to US$ 16 billion from US$ 1.7 billion in 2002.

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  • Show Comments (5)

  • Jerrydill

    How can this help?
    I do not see how this can help the country. By restricting access to the U.S. is not going to cut their costs, if anything it will increase them. By restricting sale of goods into and out of the EU as well it will make it more difficult to get the products that the country needs. Not to mention that the Brazilian gov. just made a deal with a french company for their military helicopters.

    Also the U.S. and E.U. will put stronger tarrifs on these countries because they won’t see as much revenue coming from these countries.

  • Shelly1F

    Flavio
    Flavio, well said! I was at a meeting SCB in Tennessee, and the “so called economists, scientists, etc”, had a meeting about CONSERVATION BIOLOGY in a building with AIR CONDITIONING 24/7, a few buses and hardly any other means of transportation. A man from the Jane Goodall Foundation, asked a simple question: ” How many of you drove here, how many of you have one person in the car?” Americans looked stunned, he pointed out the hypocrisy about the SCB convention, about the fact that America likes to lash other countries when it comes to biodiversity destruction, while it CONTINUES to destroy its own environment.

    By the way, I mentioned at the meeting that America is not willing to change its habits and behaviors, but likes to tell others how to behave. Asked the “economist” to call the Department of Transportation to put pressure on metro and bus line development, WHILE looking for alternative technology. He again looked stunned!

    On another note, Uribe is America’s poodle. But we should do business with EVERYONE, not just South America. I am an advocate for the old saying “don’t put your eggs in one basket”. Even if it means upsetting our neighbors.

    And CH.C Ask the world who is the most DISLIKED NATION? Also, ask “What is Switzerland famous for?” Lie, deceit, heaven for drug money. Heaven for those who steal, from the poor or from anyone else for that matter.

  • Flavio Rodrigues

    US and EU, help poors countries!!!
    While US and EU don’t want cut theirs bigs cars, beautiful houses and your very nive trips, most of countries in the world are arguing just for food, BREAK THE BARRIERS FOR AGRICULTURE!

  • CommentCulture

    There is more to life than $
    Like self respect and dignity.

    Screw the U.S. Treasury, the World Bank and the IMF

  • ch.c.

    “Brazilian Colombian bilateral trade in 2007 reached US$ 2.7 billion with Brazil exporting US$ 2.2 billion. Brazil’s trade surplus with member nations of the Latin American Integration Association has
    You have all the necessary details by now….to understand why Brazil is the most hatred country in South America.

    Brazil has only a ONE WAY TRADE IN ITS MIND….both with developed, emerging and third world nations !

    Everything for Brazil, nothing for the others…is the vision of Brazilians cheating policies… !

    I can only repeat : ask to whoever you want in South America of who is the most DISLIKED NATION in the region !!!

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