US, Brazil Affirm Strong Economic Ties

Posted April 9th, 2012 at 11:45 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. and Brazilian leaders have affirmed their countries' strong economic ties, raising the prospect of more American investment in Brazil as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met at the White House Monday. President Obama, who visited Brazil last year, said the relationship between the two countries “has never been stronger.”

“Of course, we still have more work to do. We are consulting around the Summit of the Americas meeting this weekend to make sure that we are coordinating closely on issues of great importance like expanding educational exchanges, improving the cooperation between our countries on clean energy, dealing with issues like narco-trafficking and citizen security issues that are so important to the region.”

Ms. Rousseff, in brief comments, also hailed the ties.

“The U.S.-Brazil bilateral relations are for Brazil a very important relationship — not only from a bilateral, but also from a multi-lateral perspective.

She also said she raised concerns with Mr. Obama about the effect of expansionary monetary policies of richer countries on developing countries like Brazil. She said she is worried that they are leading to the devaluation of the Brazilian currency.

Mr. Obama did not address the monetary issue in his remarks.

Trade between the U.S. and Brazil reached a record $74 billion last year. Ms. Rousseff emphasized to the American leader the need for improved infrastructure in her country as it prepares the stage for the world's pre-eminent athletic events.

The two leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to advancing trade in services and manufactured goods and removing barriers to the shipment of agricultural products.

Mr. Obama and Ms. Rousseff also discussed their shared interest in promoting regional compacts to advance educational, travel and technology contacts between Americans and Brazilians.

The visit is Ms. Rousseff's first trip to the United States as Brazil's leader.

Ms. Rousseff, who is traveling with a delegation of ministers, also attended a one-day binational forum at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington.

At the opening of the forum, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. will open two new consulates in Brazil. She also announced that she and Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota would sign the U.S.-Brazil Aviation Partnership Memorandum, to promote increased business travel, tourism and exchanges, and safer air travel between the countries.