In spite of disagreements in several issues, President Dilma Rousseff during her meeting on Monday at the White House with her peer Barack Obama is expected to insist on the need to join efforts in combating the world economic crisis and particularly monetary instability originated in the manipulation of foreign currency exchanges, which the Brazilian describe as a “monetary tsunami”.
Standing next to President Obama, Rousseff will underline that the manipulation of currencies is generating unfair trade and competition barriers, particularly for Brazil, but on a conciliatory bell the president will also point out that nobody is set to win in a predatory competition environment and without a balanced growth of international trade.
According to the Brazilian financial media the two day visit to the US with seven ministers and representatives from the business community, does not generate many expectations on either side: Obama is on his re-election campaign and the two countries do not see with the same eyes the Middle East situation.
Nevertheless the Brazilian president is expected to promote the country as a “land of opportunities”, invite business people to invest in Brazil and announce partnerships in the program Science without Frontiers which offers scholarships for promising students.
Rousseff’ schedule includes on Tuesday a visit to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Harvard University, both institutions currently managed by women. The Brazilian leader is expected to make a speech at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
The Brazilian president visit is planned similarly to that organized for President Obama when he travelled to Brazil in March 2011. Rousseff will be meeting the US and Brazil top CEOs forum; she will later visit the Chamber of Commerce for a seminar on “Brazil-US- Partners for the XXI Century”.
In her speeches the Brazilian president is expected to emphasize how Brazil is combating the world economic crisis by promoting investment and expanding consumption. She will also underline that Brazil’s development model is open to foreign capital, but with the ingredient of the transfer of technology.
As members of the G20 group of industrialized and emerging powers “Brazil and the US could achieve new strategic partnerships mainly in the area of science, technology and innovation”.
Likewise since 2009 the bilateral trade balance has been negative for Brazil having reached in 2011 a deficit of 8.2 billion dollars.
“The US is the second most important trade partner of Brazil, behind China, but we believe the US could increase its purchases and besides that we would like some trade barriers for Brazilian produce to come down”, said Robson Andrade president o the National Confederation of Industry, CNI and part of the delegation.
On the other side the interest of the US is in a free trade agreement between the two countries but which remains stalled, and in Washington some analysts accuse Brazil of playing the protectionist card.
Other issues include energy. Brazil has some of the world’s largest offshore oil reserves, and it has made wide use of bio-fuels and other alternative forms of energy, an area of interest to President Obama.
Last but not least Brazil is also in the process of deciding whether to buy several billion dollars worth of jet fighters from France or the US.