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President Obama wants to re-float a free trade agreement with South America

Monday, December 19th 2011 - 07:26 UTC
Full article 6 comments
Trade Representative Ron Kirk made the announcement calling for greater opening of the Brazil economy. Trade Representative Ron Kirk made the announcement calling for greater opening of the Brazil economy.

United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced that the administration of President Barack Obama is intent in reaching a free trade agreement with South America and called for a greater opening of the Brazilian economy.

“Historically since we achieved Nafta (free trade agreement including the US, Canada and Mexico in 1994) many people in the US have insisted we do something similar with the southern part of the continent. We’ve started with Chile and Peru and we hope, expect, others will be willing to join the initiative” said Kirk in a Sunday interview with the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo.

The US trade top official said he was hopeful an agreement could be reached with the southern hemisphere in spite of the failure of negotiations for a Free Trade Association of the Americas which foundered in 2005 during a summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

However Kirk also insisted that a greater opening of the region’s largest economy, Brazil was needed. The US lost its position as Brazil’s main trade partner to China in 2009.

“Our hope is that once the chalice of the Brazilians is full, they can spare a few drops to the poor neighbours from North America. We would like to have half the growth rate of Brazil”, said the US trade representative.

“No matter how strong cooperation with Chile and Peru can be, when you look at the map you simply can’t ignore the potential of Brazil that can also change life for neighbours in the region”.

With a more balanced alliance “we can build an even stronger trade relation, and it would be a way not only of generating more jobs for the economy, it would be beneficial for the whole region”.

However to achieve this “it is necessary for Brazil to show its commitment as an emerging economy to help all countries of the region by opening its economy”.

Kirk said the US interest is not only limited to contracts for the World Cup of 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games, but also to the oil industry, high technology to develop the huge deep hydrocarbons discovery from 2007 onwards.

“This is an area to advance with no threats to the domestic interests”, said Kirk. The US interest in oil supplies and the development of the oil industry was clearly expressed during this year’s early March vivit to Brazil when he met with his counterpart, Dilma Rousseff.


Top Comments

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  • DouglasBlammo

    Translated: Barry's bosses want the weapons deals. Nothing more.

    Dec 19th, 2011 - 10:57 am 0
  • GeoffWard2

    This is like Obama saying “I want a free trade deal with Asia!”
    ( Bush would have been much more likely to have said “I want a deal with Asia - by the way, what kind of country is Asia, and does it vote Republican?”)

    Obama is educated; he never said this.
    He also knows there is no mechanism for creating a Continent-wide FTA.
    The most he can get is a country-by-country accumulation of bi-lateral trade agreements, each new one modifying the trading conditions of the previous ones.
    This is the world we now live in.

    Half a dozen S.A. nations can do the business in trade-volume terms, but some strategic materials are to be found in 'minor nations';
    the basket of deals will be different in every case.

    Dec 19th, 2011 - 12:46 pm 0
  • Fido Dido

    Brazil made it many times clear that it cannot and won't have a free trade agreement witha bogus free trader that subsidize it's industry (illegal). The US, mainly the republicans, barks that it's also against those subsidies, but since campaign (bribes) donations also matter, they won't say anything about it when it matters. I agree with douglas, they want the weapons deal, and Brazil can get it for a great price, because the US is willing to give alot away, since those transnational companies, do not care as much about the US anymore like in the past, because they know, the growth is there in Brazil.

    Geoff, Globalization (bogus free trade) is dead up north in the US (Go to Detroit and you'll see why) and in the south like Florida, they kinda love it since they depend on foreigners, local economy collapsed after the fake housing bubble. But on average, they know, NAFTA is a scam, but they can do nothing about it.

    Dec 19th, 2011 - 03:51 pm 0
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