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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs > Releases > Remarks, Testimony > 2005 > January-March

U.S.-Brazil Relations

John J. Danilovich, Ambassador to Brazil
Folha de Sao Paulo
Brazil
January 9, 2005

President Bush recently laid out three clear U.S. foreign policy goals: to promote freedom and democracy, advance prosperity, and strengthen security. In keeping with these goals, I would like to offer some New Year’s resolutions for our two countries.

To promote freedom and democracy and good governance throughout the region, we have joined with other members of the Organization of American States to create the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Last year we contributed almost $3 million to the OAS’ Democracy Fund to support programs that strengthen democracy and protect human rights in the Hemisphere, and more than $800,000 to the OAS Special Program for the Promotion of Dialogue and Conflict Resolution. My first resolution is to continue to cooperate within the OAS in order to enhance freedom and encourage dialogue throughout the Western Hemisphere.

The United Nations is another key forum where Brazil and the United States work closely together. This past year Brazil began a 2-year term on the UN Security Council and has stated that it aspires to a permanent seat on the Council, as do Japan, Germany, and India. Brazil’s aspirations are worthy of serious consideration. Brazil has shown real leadership at the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, and the international community appreciates Brazil’s efforts to stabilize that troubled country. I propose that our two countries resolve to continue to work together through the United Nations to show leadership on global issues.

The economy of Latin America has grown by 5.5% in 2004, with GDP per capita rising by an estimated 4%. This good economic news would not have been possible without the strong Brazilian economic growth that resulted directly from the successful economic policies of President Lula's government. President Bush knows that we can advance prosperity by further reducing trade barriers that serve as obstacles to economic growth. The United States is strongly committed to the success of the WTO Doha Round negotiations, as is Brazil, which played a key role this past year in working out the framework agreement. So, my third resolution is to continue U.S.–Brazil collaboration to keep the WTO negotiations moving forward.

In the coming year the United States will energetically pursue greater trade liberalization through bilateral and regional trade agreements, including the effort to integrate the economies of all 34 free nations in the Western Hemisphere through the FTAA. For Brazil to be outside of a western hemisphere free trade area does not make sense. Free trade is an essential component of economic development and an important tool for expanding prosperity, and the FTAA offers an opportunity to enhance our hemisphere’s competitiveness in the global economy of the 21st century and to benefit our consumers, producers, and workers in ways that can directly advance President Lula’s priority goal of eliminating poverty in Brazil. The United States is the greatest free-market economy in the world, and Brazil’s largest and most reliable trading partner. The best way forward is for us to strengthen and expand that proven partnership for the benefit of all of our citizens. So when we soon resume our discussions, I propose that as co-chairs of the FTAA process, Brazil and the United States demonstrate pragmatic leadership in their search for concrete results and work together to move the negotiations to their concluding phase.

International terror attacks have proven that no country or region on earth dare consider itself safe from the scourge of terrorism, but increased cooperation between the U.S. and democracies around the world has demonstrated that with vigilance we can make the world a better and safer place. Therefore, the third goal that President Bush set for the United States is to prevail against terrorism. Every nation, including Brazil, has a stake in this conflict. Terrorism is a threat to us all, and we all must do everything we can to defeat it. Brazil and the United States are working together in this area as members of the "3+1" Counter Terrorism Dialogue, a mechanism created in 2002 with Argentina and Paraguay to enhance counter terrorism cooperation, information-sharing, and capacity-building in the Tri-border area. The United States and Brazil have also successfully cooperated to strengthen the security of ports and transportation networks, but we can do much more. Finally, for 2005 let us resolve to continue U.S.-Brazil cooperation in the worldwide fight against terrorism.

I believe we can advance all of these resolutions in the year ahead, working together to make the world a more prosperous, freer and more secure place for all of our people. On behalf of President Bush and the American people, and on behalf of myself and my family, I wish all the citizens of this great country a happy and prosperous New Year.



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