American Chamber of Commerce wants free trade agreement between Brazil and the U.S.

Portal de Noticias – Jornal do Senado, 4/4/2014

Six months after the postponement of President Dilma Rousseff’s state visit to Washington, due to disclosures of electronic espionage conducted by the NSA, a bold proposal marked the debate on bilateral relations organized yesterday by the Brazilian Foreign Relations Committee: the signing of a free trade agreement between Brazil and the U.S.

The proposal came from the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Brazil (Amcham), Gabriel Rico. In his opinion, Brazil needs to increase economic competitiveness and seek greater integration in the global production chain. A free trade agreement would have the backing – according to Rico – of 93% percent of member companies, both Brazilian and American.

Brazil needs to take a large leap in terms of its competitiveness, which has to happen alongside negotiations for an agreement. When an economy exposes itself to a free trade agreement, it is forced to rethink itself. If a country remains stagnant, only one side benefits – said Rico, recalling that the United States is already beginning to negotiate free trade agreements with the European Union and Asian-Pacific countries.

Also invited to partake of the public hearing, held at the request of the President of the Committee Ricardo Ferraço (PMDB-ES), the Director of the Brazil Institute of the Wilson Center, Paulo Sotero, also highlighted the opportunity of debating the negotiations of a free trade agreement with the United States. He recalled that the president of the National Confederation of Industries (CNI), Robson Braga de Andrade, defended negotiations at the end of last year.

The initiative was received with caution, however, by Ambassador Carlos Antonio da Rocha Paranhos, representative of the Foreign Ministry, who recalled the lack of consensus on the matter.

“Evidently, there is no internal consensus on efforts geared towards trade agreements, and hence, they cannot be seen as a panacea” – said Paranhos.

Read full article in Portuguese here. 

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