Tags: brazil | rousseff | monetary policy

Brazil President to Obama: Monetary Policy Hurting Us

Monday, 09 April 2012 05:01 PM

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff called on the U.S. to invest more in the world’s sixth-biggest economy and told President Barack Obama that monetary conditions in rich nations may be hurting growth in emerging markets.

Rousseff, meeting with Obama at the White House, said she was concerned about “expansionist” monetary policies that “lead to a depreciation in the value of the currencies of developed countries, thus impairing growth” in countries like Brazil.

Obama, meeting with Rousseff at the White House to discuss economic growth and energy cooperation, said trade and investment between the U.S. and Brazil is reaching “record levels.” He said the U.S. is opening two new consulates in Latin America’s biggest economy and has “drastically” cut down visa wait times for Brazilian visitors to the U.S.

Brazil’s drive to develop offshore oil finds offer “tremendous opportunity” for expanding Brazil’s relationship with the U.S. as does expanded sales of defense equipment and ship building, Rousseff said. Direct investments by Brazilian companies in the U.S. equal only 40 percent of the overall level of American investments in Brazil, she said.

Still, echoing comments she made in Germany last month about the threat posed by a “monetary tsunami” coming from the U.S. and Europe, she said it was “very important” for the U.S. to take into account the currency concerns of faster-growing emerging markets even as it seeks to stimulate its own economy.

Trade Deficit

Brazil’s trade balance with the U.S. swung from a $6.4 billion surplus for her country in 2007 to an $8.2 billion deficit last year as the real rallied and growth in Brazil spurred demand for imports.

Obama is seeking to help U.S. businesses profit from Brazil’s oil discoveries, the biggest in the Americas since 1976, and from the $200 billion in road, airport and hotel improvements needed before the 2014 World Cup and 2016 summer Olympics.

There are opportunities for defense contractors in both countries. Rousseff will decide by mid-year on a fighter plane for her country, a contract for as much as $4 billion that Boeing Co. is vying to win, a U.S. State Department official said March 1.

The two met as they are preparing for the Summit of the Americas in Colombia beginning at the end of this week. The agenda there will include cooperation on education, energy and the battle against drug trafficking.

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Monday, 09 April 2012 05:01 PM
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