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U.S. Chamber Unveils Congressional Group to Improve Trade Relations with Brazil

Tuesday, November 30, 1999 - 7:00pm

SEATTLE, WA.—The United States Chamber of Commerce today joined key U.S. lawmakers in unveiling a caucus designed to improve dialogue and trade relations between the United States and Brazil.

U.S. Chamber President Thomas J. Donohue, here to participate in the World Trade Organization talks, announced the creation of the Brazil Caucus, made up of a bi-partisan group of House lawmakers. The Caucus will be co-chaired by Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Brazilian Congressional Rep. Julio Redecker, a member of a similar caucus in Brazil.

The new caucus stems from the Chamber-sponsored U.S-Brazil Business Council, made up of American and Brazilian companies, which helped bring together elected representatives from the two nations to discuss trade and other issues. The United States conducts more trade with Brazil than with China and India combined.

"Brazil is our 11th largest trading partner in the world and we would like our elected officials to get to know Brazil beyond Rio's beaches and the Amazon's rainforests," Donohue said at breakfast at the Seattle Hilton Hotel.

Rep. Kolbe was one of several House members—including Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Thomas Ewing (R-IL), Sander Levin (D-MI), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Nick Smith (R-MI), William Thomas (R-CA), Karen Thurman (D-FL) and Wes Watkins (R-OK)—announcing the House caucus. They were joined at the event by Brazil's Ambassador to the United States, Rubens Barbosa, Redecker, and other high-level Brazilian government officials.

"Our priorities for the caucus are to foster understanding and enhance our relationship with Brazil, to protect and maintain the free market system, and to look for ways to increase the flow of trade and investment between both countries," Kolbe said.

"This is a tremendous example of how business is increasingly playing a proactive and positive diplomatic as well as commercial role in world affairs," said Donohue, who offered to visit Brazil early next year.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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