American president Barack Obama’s agenda for his visit to Brazil on March 19 and 20, is getting filled in with more details by the day. It is reported that the Brazilian embassy in Washington has received requests for a thousand visas.
It is also been reported that 150 journalists have chartered a plane to make the trip. Cabinet members, advisors and business leaders will accompany Obama.
American authorities are mainly concerned with security for the president, his wife, Michelle, and two children, Natasha (known as Sasha) and Malia Ann, who will accompany him.
In Brasília, Dilma Rousseff and Barack Obama will sign at least ten bilateral agreements. One of the agreements that is still being worked out deals with economic and commercial cooperation and will reduce or eliminate sanitation barriers on fruit and meat.
The US already has a similar agreement with Uruguay. It seems that in the commercial area, it has not been possible to suspend surtaxes on certain goods.
Other partnership agreements in the areas of energy, human rights, climate change and sustainable development are reportedly close to being concluded.
The United States has expressed an interest in participating in Brazil’s ultra-deep pre-salt oil fields and jointly expanding assistance to poor nations, such as Haiti.
In Rio, Obama will probably go to a slum neighborhood that has been occupied and pacified by the police (known as a UPP). It is also expected that the president of the US will make a public speech in Rio.
The final details of the visit will be ironed out in Washington next week, February 23 and 24, when the Brazilian Foreign Minister, Antonio Patriota will meet with Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, and the National Security Council advisor, Tom Millon.
The most recent signals from Brasília and Washington are that both countries consider it a priority to move ahead on their mutual desire to reach agreements in the areas of renewable resources and clean energy.
Brazil is concerned with what it sees as unilateral measures by the US that weaken the dollar and distort global economic relations
The Americans are concerned with losing business in Brazil to the Chinese who have recently become Brazil’s biggest trade partner.
After Brazil, Obama will visit Chile and El Salvador.
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