Brazil’s Lula Visits Bush for Ethanol and World Trade Talks

    President Lula at a pilot biodiesel plant in Brazil

    President Lula at a pilot biodiesel plant in Brazil Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, announced this Monday, March 26, in Brazil, that he will ask American President George W. Bush to help advance global trade talks when he visits Washington this coming Saturday, March 31. Lula is scheduled to meet Bush at Camp David in Maryland.

    "I will discuss the World Trade Organization with Bush because the WTO's success depends heavily on the United States," Lula said on Rádio Nacional, a government-owned radio network.

    The latest round of WTO-linked global trade talks stalled last year after developing countries led by Brazil and India insisted the United States and other industrial nations lower subsidies for farmers and tariffs on agricultural imports.

    Talks have since resumed and trade officials are now trying desperately to conclude the round before June, when a key agreement or "fast track" between the U.S. president and Congress expires. Unless the agreement is renewed, legislators can revise trade deals negotiated by the president, making deals much harder to reach.

    Meantime, in Quito, Pascal Lamy, head of the World Trade Organization, said that the Doha round objective has not been the "complete liberalization of all economies" but rather an end to rich countries farm export subsidies.

    "The purpose of this round was never total liberalization of all economies. Rather cut trade barriers, correct misbalances in current trade rules, which hinder poor countries, stimulate growth and reduce poverty," said Lamy adding that his efforts are concentrated in reaching an "agreement to advance in the elimination of subsidies" and thus helping the US to adjust to that objective.

    Lamy revealed that US negotiators consider that if advances are reached "it can help renew the special Congress authority" (for the White House to subscribe trade agreements) and thus conclude the Doha Round.

    Brazilian President Lula said he will ask Bush to help African countries and Haiti develop their economies, possibly by producing alternative fuels like ethanol and bio-diesel, areas in which Brazil leads the world.

    Brazil wants to export more ethanol, a gasoline alternative that it makes cheaply and efficiently from sugar cane, but buyers are reluctant to rely on a fuel only Brazil can export.

    During the recent visit of US President Bush to Latinamerica a strategic bio-fuels promotion agreement was signed with Brazil. The United States is the world's largest ethanol producer and consumer, but it makes ethanol from corn, which costs more and is less energy efficient.

    Mercopress

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    • Show Comments (4)

    • Daniela

      Life is not easy!!
      Why do you think that Lula was reelected? The poor, of course, has put him back in power……

    • Daniela

      Life is not easy!!
      You guys missed some important points…. What is the alternative for Africa or Haiti, which are areas that the population is dying of poverty, lack of nutrition and aids – the last one applies to Africa??

      At least they would have a chance of working and makeing a living, which would already be much better than their current standards. Furthermore, you can not forget the value of technology transfer. The book End of Poverty by Sachs talks about the difference that the apparel industry has made in the lives of extremely poor Bangladesh womem…

      If ethanol production ever is established in Haiti or Africa, everybody could benefit – African government simply have to be smart and ask for a fair portion of the gains. Haiti and Africa with technology transfer, jobs – even low-paid jobs since people in these nation have no other alternative. US with cheaper and more efficient ethanol and certainly Brazil…
      Why not? I believe that Brazil has proved that is capable, especially with EMBRAER… if you do not know the small planes that goes from LA to San Diego for instance, are all manufactured by EMBRAER. I believe that you should give developing countries a chance… Brazilian are not totaly stupied!

      I recognize that curruption is a burden but without pressure of the Brazilian civil society this reality is unlikely to change. The Brazilian civil society must become more mobilized to change this situation.

      About equality in Brazil…. these things do not change from days to night. Lula continued the FHC social programs and added some others: bolsa-escola, subsidized eletricity and gas for the poor, etc. Redistributive policies are not easy to implement , e.g. take from the rich and transfer to the poor. Since my last visit to Brazil, I realized that the poor has been empowered – not relative to Western standars, of course – but relative to Brazilian standards. The poor have been eating better and also have had more opportunities to study …

    • forrest allen brown

      H2 all the way
      LULSA & chaves are dealing in social Darwinism” that leaves every man and woman struggling.

      It’s a strategy that we’ve seen this administration pursue over the last six years, that basically says government has no role to play in making sure that Brazil is prosperous for all people and not just some,
      if brazil is so grate than why does it need or want bush to help , lula has proven many times he hates bush and the US . but like most brazilians if he smells money he will be there till the money is gone .
      Africa could surpass brazil and the US if they would stop the endfighting

    • ch.c.

      will ask Bush to help African countries …….possibly by producing alternative fuels like ethanol and bio-diesel !!!!!
      Why do you need Help from Bush to produce alternative fuels ?????????

      FINANCING AFRICA AND OF COURSE BRAZIL AND FOR WHICH YOU WILL MAKE A PROFIT ON ????
      COULD YOU NOT USE YOUR LARGE FOREIGN CURRENCY RESERVES….JUST AS CHINA DOES……AND INVEST PART OF OF TREASURE ??????

      BEGGING, KNEES DOWN, …FOR FAVORS….FAVORS…FAVORS WITH YOUR ETHANOL, PRODUCING IN FACT JUST MORE POVERTY AND SLAVES ALIKE WORKERS ALREADY IN BRAZIL….AND YOU WANT TO CREATE THE SAME SOCIETY…. IN AFRICAN COUNTRIES ??????

      I already hear Lula “Please….please….my friend……give me a few billions US$….so that I can develop ethanol in Africa and thus I could keep my us$ for me and my gang of corrupted and inepts politicians and civil servants, You know in Africa I could use 1 million NEW SLAVES FOR MY BENEFITS “

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