NEWS IN ENGLISH – Last minute details on agreements being worked out on eve of Obama visit

15/03/2011 12:22

Renata Giraldi Reporter Agência Brasil

Brasília – Final details on a series of agreements and memorandums that will be signed during the visit by the president of the United State, Barack Obama, on March 19 and 20, are still being worked out. People close to the negotiations report that the last-minute rush is normal in such cases.

A Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement, known as TECA, which will create an advanced legal framework for relations, is in an advanced stage. It will reduce trade and investment barriers. Sanitation rules on fruit and meats are being worked out, along with measures to simplify customs and other technical rules. The agreement will also establish permanent communications channels for dispute resolution.

Brazil is very interested in trade as its international commercial relations have undergone a huge transformation. With the United States there has been an unusual reversal of fortune over the last five years: in 2006, Brazil had a trade surplus with the US of almost $10 billion; last year it had a trade deficit of over $7.7 billion. At the same time, the Chinese have become the country’s biggest trade partner, importing soy, iron ore and petroleum, while it floods Brazil with manufactured goods.

The Brazil-United States trade negotiations do not include changes in import tariffs and surtaxes at this time.

The two countries will also set up partnerships for the 2014 World Soccer Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games based on American experience.

Another agreement is on social security. It will permit Brazilians who work in the US and make social security payments to use those payments towards receiving benefits in Brazil if they decide to return to Brazil. It is estimated there are between 500,000 and a million Brazilians who could take advantage of this agreement. 

Obama’s day in Brasilia (Saturday, March 19), will be divided into four parts: in the morning at the Palacio do Planalto, lunch at Itamaraty (Foreign Ministry), an afternoon meeting with business leaders, and in the evening an intimate dinner with president Dilma Rousseff.

Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English

Link - Às vésperas da viagem de Obama ao Brasil, acordos ainda estão em fase de elaboração