Lula, who has championed developing nations’ access to markets, wants to resolve differences between the US and Brazil over the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), before a key meeting of the hemisphere’s trade ministers in Miami next month.
“Between the will of the richest and the poorest there remains a middle way,” Lula told Brazilian legislators, Reuters reported
Lula said Brazil wanted a “balanced FTAA that guaranteed us real access to the hemisphere’s markets and at the same time gave us space for development policies.”
The dispute between the US and Brazil centres on US farm subsidies. Brazil is one of the world’s largest producers of commodities such as sugar, coffee, meat, soya and orange juice.
It is unwilling to give the US greater access to its markets without more opportunities in US agricultural markets, as part of the US-sponsored FTAA which would link 34 countries and almost 800 million people.
“We’re not going to run away from the negotiating table, we’re going to negotiate with our heads held high,” said Lula.
As one solution to FTAA disagreements, Lula proposed that countries that wanted to sign more wide-ranging trade accords could do so via bilateral deals that would not apply to other nations.