Lula and Bush Vow to End World’s Farm Subsidies

    President Bush and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva have pledged to seek conditions for fair international trade, including the elimination of many nations’ agricultural subsidies.

    The two presidents made statements to reporters after meeting in the Brazilian capital, Brasí­lia Sunday. The presidents said they were encouraged by U.S. – Brazilian trade relations, which President Bush said he is convinced are equitable and fair.

    Before the meeting, Mr. Bush told a gathering of young Brazilian leaders the United States is a friend of Brazil and that Washington wants Latin America to be prosperous.

    The president arrived in Brasí­lia Saturday after attending the Summit of the Americas in Argentina, where delegates failed to reach consensus on creating a regional free-trade zone.

    Brazil was one of five countries that said it is not willing to continue talks on a U.S. free-trade plan for the Western Hemisphere.

    No Deal

    The 34-nation Summit of the Americas has concluded in Mar del Plata, Argentina without accord on a topic that came to dominate the gathering: trade within the region. Intense negotiations continued hours after the scheduled close of the two-day event, with President Bush leaving the gathering ahead of virtually all other leaders.

    In the end, they agreed to disagree on a proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) that would allow goods to transit tariff-free from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.

    As the last summit participants were preparing to leave Mar del Plata, Argentine Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa told reporters a final document was crafted to reflect divergent points of view between two major groups of nations.

    He said, "With respect to the FTAA, there were a group of countries that find no obstacle in continuing negotiations within the FTAA as it exists right now. In another paragraph, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela find that conditions do not exist to negotiate the FTAA as proposed."

    With the exception of Venezuela, the dissenting nations constitute a regional trade bloc known as Mercosur. Mr. Bielsa noted that Mercosur nations believe they have a competitive advantage in producing agricultural goods, and that they do not believe the FTAA will go far enough to address sizable agricultural subsidies that exist for farmers in nations like the United States.

    As a result, he said, Mercosur nations prefer to await the results of the next World Trade Organization meeting next month in Hong Kong, where they expect the topic of agricultural subsidies by wealthy nations to be addressed.

    The FTAA has the backing of 29 other summit participants, including the United States. The Bush administration, which argues the FTAA would boost prosperity and reduce poverty throughout the hemisphere, had hoped the summit would serve to revive the initiative, which was originally proposed some ten years ago and which its first architects had envisioned would already be in place by this year.

    But if the Summit of the Americas dashed hopes of advancing the FTAA, it also appears to have foiled the ambitions of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who, as the gathering was getting underway Friday, boasted that it would be "the tomb" of the hemisphere-wide trade proposal.

    Argentine Foreign Minister Bielsa suggested nothing could be further from the truth. He said, "This is not the end of the FTAA. The FTAA is a side note to a summit that was dealt with something else. It dealt with [creating] decent jobs, reducing poverty and democratic governance."

    There was no final public appearance by the leaders, and President Bush did not speak with reporters before leaving for Brazil, the second stop on a three-nation trip that will also take the U.S. leader to Panama. But administration officials are expressing quiet satisfaction with the summit’s outcome, saying important topics were discussed and some progress achieved.

    The two-day gathering of hemispheric leaders attracted tens of thousands of leftist activists to Mar del Plata from Argentina and beyond. Friday, they marched to protest the presence of President Bush and gave a hero’s welcome to President Chavez. Anti-Bush protests descended into violence later in the day, with several dozen local businesses ransacked and looted.

    VoA

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    US Sends Trade Representative Schwab to Brazil to Revive Doha Talks

    U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab will be in Brazil from July 27 to ...

    Smile Brazil Helps Seniors, 75% of Which Are Toothless

    Over 48 million people in Brazil have received free dental care since March, 2004, ...

    Brazil’s Veja Magazine Is All Bluster and No Brain

    Veja is showing the Lacerdist inspiration of its actions and reactions. Carlos Lacerda was ...

    Apocalypse Then

    TV bombarded the air with catastrophic predictions dressed as news that ended by not ...

    Brazil Gets Over Half a Million Tourists in April. A 10% Jump.

    Brazil received 546,200 foreign visitors in the month of April.  Arrivals on international flights ...

    Wealthy and caring Zezé Di Camargo

    Composer-singer Zezé Di Camargo has become the newest millionaire in Brazilian music and in ...

    Dilma Rousseff with Lula

    Lula Leaving a Legacy of Debts and Unfinished Work to His Successor

    Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s successor next January will receive a budget ...

    President Barack Obama

    Brazil, Venezuela and Cuba Greet Obama with Hope and Skepticism

    The Brazilian government has made it clear that it hopes that the new American ...

    Brazil Forecasts 4.5% GDP Growth and 4% Inflation for Next Three Years

    Brazil’s Minister of Planning, Budget, and Management, Paulo Bernardo, affirmed yesterday that the 2006 ...

    Brazil: Ex-Chief Justice Assails Lula

    Recently retired from the presidency of Brazil’s Supreme Court, Maurício Corrêa is pulling no ...