A Broad Look at Brazil
The article ``Results of Brazilian Elections Will Affect US Trade, Investment,'' Sept. 27, contained many blatant inaccuracies and drew unsubstantiated conclusions.
It was certainly not because of any external pressure that Brazil decided to vastly liberalize its trade. Nevertheless, the article is right in saying that Brazil has ``dramatically lowered tariffs.''
In fact, this policy, which has broad support in Brazil, reflects both domestic factors, such as the recognition that the import-substitution model is now obsolete, and many external factors, such as the recent changes in the international economic environment.
Multilateral trade and trade-related negotiations, the lowering of tariffs, privatization, and other similar issues must be analyzed in the broad context where they belong and not from the completely unacceptable perspective of ``US pressure.''
In that regard, I would emphasize that Brazil has actively participated in all 15 of the negotiating groups during the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Uruguay Round, including the negotiations on intellectual property rights that the article incorrectly portrays as a matter of purely bilateral nature, in the context of Brazil-US relations.
Moreover, matters such as government procurement, telecommunications, and management of the petroleum sector now command attention all over the world and are of interest beyond the mere Brazil-US perspective.
For example, the Brazilian legislation on government procurement does favor goods produced in Brazil, but in a way that is remarkably similar to the ``buy American'' provisions in US federal and state legislation, which predate the current Brazilian legislation by several decades.
Finally, I would like to challenge the notion that Brazil-US relations might ``again become rocky.'' Although a few differences in opinions and positions are natural in the relationship between any two countries of such size and importance, they are insignificant in view of the warm and long-lasting friendship between Brazil and the US. Paulo-Tarso Flecha de Lima, Washington Ambassador of Brazil
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