Vive Le Canada

US and Brazil seek to fuel friendship
Date: Friday, March 30 2007

US and Brazil seek to fuel friendship
By Bruno Garcez
BBC Brasil, Washington

During Brazil's military rule in the mid-1960s, supporters of the government came up with the phrase "What's good for the United States is good for Brazil".
The Brazilian left loathed the concept, considering it to be the symbol of the country's submissiveness to American interests.

But the irony of history is that it took a left-wing Brazilian government to actually invert the principle.

Now it is the US that is turning to Brazil's biofuels programme, in order to benefit from its pioneering work in ethanol and to cut down its dependence on foreign oil.

During President George W Bush's recent trip to Brazil, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on the production and research of ethanol.

US state department officials have referred to the country as being a strategic partner, and claim that their teamwork is likely to fuel a world revolution in alternative energy.

So it is little wonder that Brazil's President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva will, on Saturday, become the first Latin American leader received by George W Bush in the presidential residence at Camp David.

'National security'

But in spite of the kind words exchanged on both sides, several politicians and local producers in the US have expressed concern about the role played by America's new best friend.

At a recent event in Washington, Senator Barack Obama told the BBC: "Brazil has done an excellent job in encouraging its own biofuels industry. America should follow suit."

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Published: 2007/03/30 12:36:07 GMT

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