Obama’s Trip to Brazil: COHA’s Evaluation of the Upcoming Presidential Tour of Latin America (briefings available by telephone or in person)
Multiple COHA specialists in U.S.-Latin American relations are available for briefings concerning President Obama’s upcoming trip to Latin America. On Saturday, the President leaves for Brazil for a two-day visit, marking the president’s first visit to a number of hemispheric locations. He will be traveling to Brasília, Brazil on March 19; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 20; Santiago, Chile on March 21; and San Salvador, El Salvador on March 22.
COHA welcomes inquiries from the media regarding the president’s upcoming trip to the three Latin American nations. (Note to the media: Call (202) 223-4975 or (202) 215-3473, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, to schedule an interview, or to obtain a background briefing on the bilateral issues affecting each country the president will be visiting.) To reach COHA over the weekend call: (202) 333-1959 or (202) 215-3473
This analysis was prepared by COHA Staff
Expanded Talking Points on Obama’s Trip to Brazil
President Barack Obama’s trip to Brazil this Saturday has been at the forefront of the media’s coverage of the Latin American tour. In terms of public awareness, Americans appear to be more interested in his visit to Brazil than to that of either Chile or El Salvador. A number of members in Obama’s administration have been guided to emphasize that the agenda in Brazil, once the president arrives, will be heavily focused on economic ties—certainly a topic of interest for those affected by the U.S.’s 8.9 percent unemployment rate. In the past, presidential trips to Latin America have been conducted under the tone of expected Brazilian deference. However, Obama’s intentions for this visit are to vocalize what he hopes to be seen as the symbiotic economic partnership between the two major hemispheric nations.
Brazil’s economy, which grew 7.5 percent in 2010, will be channeling its efforts to increase long-term investments in the upcoming year. As noted by Latin News, Brazilian economists hope that these efforts will account for nearly 20 percent of Brazil’s GDP in 2011. The U.S. is one country that Brazil is looking to for investment opportunities, a topic that will surely be on the docket of President Obama’s trip.
This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Associate Rebecca Walker
Building Momentum but Problems Remain for the Colombia: U.S. Free Trade Agreement
On April 7, 2008, President George W. Bush delivered the American/Colombian Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to Congress with hopes that it would receive timely approval. Bush lamented that trade restrictions with Colombia were so asymmetrical that “our markets are open to Colombian products, but barriers exist to make it harder to sell American products in Colombia.” The trade treaty, agreed to by both Colombia and the Bush administration, has awaited congressional ratification since it was signed in November 2006. The treaty languished for years until 2011, when President Obama gave his State of the Union address which directly highlighted the pending FTA with Colombia as well FTAs with Panama and South Korea that Congress had also passed over. President Obama stated, “Before I took office, I made it clear that we would enforce our trade agreements, and that I would only sign deals that keep faith with American workers, and promote American jobs. That’s what we did with Korea, and that’s what I intend to do as we pursue agreements with Panama and Colombia.” 1
This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Associate Augustus Urschel
Thursday, March 17, 2011 | Research Memorandum 11.2
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs, founded in 1975, is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt research and information organization. It has been described on the Senate floor as being “one of the nation’s most respected bodies of scholars and policy makers.” For more information, please see our web page at www.coha.org; or contact our Washington offices by phone (202) 223-4975, fax (202) 223-4979, or email email@example.com.
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