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Brazil wants WTO to sanction countries that manipulate their currencies

Wednesday, July 25th 2012 - 20:45 UTC
Full article 12 comments
Ambassador Azevedo: WTO needs a tool to measure money exchange rate imbalances  Ambassador Azevedo: WTO needs a tool to measure money exchange rate imbalances

Brazil’s delegate before the World Trade Organization said he was contacting other members of the organization so that sanctions are imposed on those countries which alter artificial money exchange rates that harm emerging countries, according to reports in the financial newspaper Valor Economico.

“There is a growing perception that money exchange markets distortions is a serious problem but we need to come up with a reply and so it happens many countries don’t like the idea of changes” and are obstructing the creation of instruments within the WTO said Ambassador Roberto Azevedo.

The ambassador made the statement during a meeting of top officials from the powerful industrial lobby, Federation of Industries from Sao Paulo, Fiesp, with academics that created the Observatory for Change at the Economics School from the Getulio Vargas foundation and who argued that the re-valuation of the Brazilian currency is now on its eighth year.

Azevedo said that the WTO has instruments to sanction disloyal trade practices but it needs a tool to help measure the money exchange rate imbalances and that countries harmed by such practices should be compensated since the “money exchange war” once temporary has become “structurally ingrained”.

With a massive inflow of foreign capital attracted by Brazil’s high interest rates and economic prospects as an exporter of much demanded commodities, the local currency has re-valued strongly during the last eight years with peaks of 1.55 Reais to the US dollar. This has had a devastating competitiveness impact for Brazil’s industrial sector and manufactured exports.

Brazil has insistently argued that “cheap money” plus zero or negative interest rates in developed countries has virtually flooded emerging economies with the inflow of capital causing serious cost and competition distortions.

Finance minister Guido Mantega calls the phenomenon the “currencies’ war” and has pointed its finger at the US, China, Korea and several other countries suffering from recession and intent in promoting exports (and surplus production) to the booming commodities-export emerging economies.

Fiesp head of International Relations Roberto Gianetti da Fonseca pointed out that the preferable exchange rate for the Brazilian currency is anywhere from 2.20 to 2.40 Reais to the US dollar.

“The current rate of 2 Reais to the dollar is insufficient: it only helped those factories with some breathing space, but they are not in a sound position. The ideal is for the US dollar to be in the range of 2.20 to 2.40 Reais”, said Gianetti da Fonseca.

Top Comments

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  • Captain Poppy

    I do not think my country, the USA is going to say “my bad so sorry” and make monetary policy based on the needs of Brazil.

    Jul 25th, 2012 - 09:13 pm 0
  • Truth_Telling_Troll

    Currency manipulation is the same as import restrictions, simple as that. China, the USA and Korea are just as cheating and anti-competition as Argentina is happily accused of being by everyone here.

    Jul 26th, 2012 - 02:00 am 0
  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey

    The US Dollar cannot be manipulated. China manipulates their currency blatantly to gain competitiveness illegally. Other countries try to maintain their currencies floating, but intervening to prop up or to keep down the value of their currency, Japan, Mexico and most countries do that, including Brazil.

    But the US Dollar floats freely in currency markets around the world, just like the Euro and the Pound Sterling, except that the Dollar goes to huge government treasuries and reserves to banks and companies, to millions of people who still save the good old green bills under their mattress, for fear of suffering dollar confiscations, as it is happening in Argentina today.
    The US cannot manipulate its currency, it is the world´s reserve currency, the safe heaven where world investors flock by the millions looking for a safe spot to park their riches while they weather financial storms around the world. The US Dollar is in itself a force many times greater than the US economy and all the Federal Reserve can do is to continue the big party printing more and more.

    Jul 26th, 2012 - 02:01 am 0
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