After the president of Brazil Dilma Rousseff accused the United States of the organization of “money tsunami” and “reckless” expansionary monetary policy, leading to currency wars and devastation of the national industry, she arrived in Washington with a return official visit. After these statements the Western media tried to present her visit as a mere formality, without any expectations on both sides.
It was stressed that Obama was busy with his pre-election campaign and Dilma Rousseff had no illusions regarding the support of her main goal – making Brazil a permanent member of the UN Security Council. However, the implications of the visit can be seen clearly and is that the U.S. has never needed Brazil more, and Brazil has never been so independent of the United States. During the visit, Dilma kept mentioning parallels with the BRICS. She made the impression that this alliance concerns her much more than the relations with the United States. The large differences are confirmed by the New York Times that reported that Dilma and Obama after a meeting in the Oval Office “did not exchange a single glance.”
Dilma Rousseff’s frustration with the monetary policy of the United States, expressed at the March summit of the BRICS, is understandable. “The U.S. decision to leave interest rates on loans near zero led to an influx of speculative money. First and foremost, this problem has affected developing countries, where the local currency was overvalued. This led to the fact that many companies have become uncompetitive. Thus, the monetary policy of the U.S. authorities hinders the economic growth in developing countries “, said Dilma at a press conference after meeting with the U.S. president.
The President explained that the Central Bank of Brazil is forced to buy dollars, thus lending to the American economy. However, to achieve the desired – to reduce the rate of the Real against the dollar (30 per cent growth over the past two years) and stimulate its export – is not possible. Obama, judging by the words of Dilma Rousseff, partially agreed with the claims, but also had his own.
They are in the fact that Dilma has not even mentioned the Yuan artificially lowered by China, which, according to Obama, leads to the underestimation of the price of the Chinese goods. However, Dilma Rousseff disagreed with the assumption that China is responsible for the currency war. “The United States is the country that issues currency, and the contribution of China is different in that it ties its currency to the dollar,” said Rusef. In her opinion, the country-issuers are required to adjust fiscal policy in the world.
She stated that no one can say that no one is marching in step, and only the U.S. does. She said that the reverse statement would be wrong as well (where China is the one that does not march in step, alluding to the opposition of the U.S. and China. Her position is quite clear – China is the main trading partner of the country and the main focus of Brazilian exports, primarily livestock and agriculture.
It is clear that Brazil’s economy no longer needs American loans. The U.S. has finally realized that the “hot” southern neighbor with the growing number of the middle class consumes could be used for selling the goods to. The real agenda has been drawn in that direction. Dilma brought businesspeople along and tried to present Brazil as a “country of new opportunities” for the American business, but it is not all that easy. Brazil wants long-term, rather than speculative investment.
Despite the fact that the main issue was the crisis, and the claims in this area are competing, from a political point of view there were also mismatch positions on many issues. The State Department is not satisfied with the political line of Brazil, its willingness to “make friends” with everyone. Obama would like Dilma to support the idea of the U.S. foreign policy, namely the justification of intervention in the affairs of another country under the slogan “Responsibility to Protect.”
However, Dilma has offered her own slogan: “”Responsibility while Protecting”. It is from this position she does not support the U.S. sanctions against Syria and Iran. Rusef logically and rightly believes that the U.S. is lacking responsibility, “protecting” the world from the Iranian nuclear threat and the Syrians from the dictator Assad.
The positions with respect to Cuba are opposite as well. Dilma Rousseff categorically stated that the Sixth Summit of the Americas (34 countries of the continent) on April 14-15 in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) without Cuba was hold for the last time. Such political differences, according to the Brazilian media, resulted in the absence of the issue of long-term agreement on ethanol on the agenda, as well as the joint development of oil fields in the Brazilian shelf, and the modernization of the armed forces to “catch up with the BRICS.”
The U.S. is still trying to understand Brazil – is it an ally or a competitor? The recent cancellation of the contract for delivery of 20 Super Tucano aircraft to the U.S. Air Force under the ridiculous pretext of “miscalculation,” says that the latter is true. Until Brazil becomes an ally, which will not happen under Dilma, the U.S. would not support Brazil’s desire to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. The only real outcome of the meeting – an agreement on cooperation in the field of “Science without Frontiers” providing for joint research and increase of the quota for training of Brazilians in the U.S. universities.
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