Brazilian criticizes wealthy nation’s policies

Binyamin Appelbaum – The New York Times, 04/16/2011

Finance Minister Guido Mantega of Brazil on Saturday. Photo: Mike Theiler/European Pressphoto Agency.

Brazil’s finance minister said Saturday that developed nations like the United States were seeking to solve their own economic problems at the expense of the developing world.

The minister, Guido Mantega, said wealthy countries were attempting “to export their way out of difficult economic situations” by printing money and keeping interest rates low. Those policies are driving up the prices of food and oil, causing particular pain for the world’s poorest people, Mr. Mantega told the policy-making committee of the International Monetary Fund.

His strong remarks highlight the challenges the United States and Europe face as they try to change their economic relationship with the developing world. In place of unsustainable borrowing to fuel consumption of imported goods, they would like to sell more goods and services to those countries. The problem is that developing nations, losing business from their best customers, hope to replace sales by increasing domestic consumption — selling to the same customers developed nations are trying to reach.

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