Release Date: Apr 09, 2012Contact: 888-249-NEWS
Donohue Welcomes Secretary Clinton and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff
U.S. Chamber Calls for Bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement to Deepen Trade and Investment Ties
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue today welcomed Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the U.S. Chamber for the Partnership21 Conference, an event organized by the Government of Brazil in collaboration with the U.S. Chamber, Brazil-U.S. Business Council, and others. Donohue joined President Rousseff and Secretary Clinton for a day of engagement on key U.S.-Brazil issues including trade and investment, energy, and innovation and competitiveness.
“We look forward to hearing our government leaders’ vision for a stronger Brazil-U.S. relationship,” said Donohue in his welcoming remarks. “We believe now is the time to begin discussions on a Bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement that would address market access, trade rules, new issues of U.S. and Brazilian interest, as well as cooperation with our neighbors in Latin America and Africa.”
A little over a year ago, President Rousseff and President Barack Obama met in Brazil, where they established three presidential-level dialogues, signed 10 new bilateral agreements, and expressed their commitment to the U.S.-Brazil partnership. Today’s Partnership21 Conference drew from the renewed energy created by this week’s presidential visit, to focus momentum on bringing together more than 400 U.S. and Brazilian government and business leaders to engage one another in a number of significant areas impacting the bilateral relationship.
Ahead of the presidential meeting, a joint letter was sent to Presidents Rousseff and Obama from the Brazil-U.S. Business Council, the U.S. Chamber, and the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry. The signatories asked the presidents to include private sector participation in the various government-to-government dialogues and to take action on new high level priorities, including a Patent Prosecution Highway Agreement, visa process streamlining, inclusion of Brazil in the Visa Waiver Program, and the establishment of an Aviation Program.
“It’s clear that our governments and the business community need to work more closely together to foster greater economic opportunities,” said Greg Page, chairman and CEO of Cargill and chairman of the Brazil-U.S. Brazil Council. “The time is right to put meaningful bilateral agreements in place to fully capitalize on the commercial potential of the two countries.”
Brazil is the eighth top trading partner of the United States and top trading partner in South America. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, in 2009 the United States was one of Brazil's top investors with U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Brazil totaling $56.7 billion, up 27.3% from 2008. In 2011, trade in goods flow was more than $70 billion, supporting more than 255,000 American jobs, according to an estimate by the White House, which shows that every $1 billion of American exports supports more than 6,000 additional U.S jobs.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.