Bush and Lula discuss biofuels

George Bush, the US president, welcomed Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, his Brazilian counterpart, to Camp David on Saturday for their second round of talks on trade and ethanol in less than a month.

Bush and Lula discuss biofuels

George Bush, the USpresident, welcomed Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, his Braziliancounterpart, to Camp David on Saturdayfor their second round of talks on trade and ethanol in less than a month.

Bush picked Silva up from his aircraft in"Golf Cart One", before heading to their meeting to discuss biofuelsand the Doharound of world trade.



The trade talks were launched in 2001, but stalled lastyear.

Many developing countries accused richer nations of notmaking significant cuts in farm subsidies and demanded greater access tomarkets in the developing world.



Dan Fisk, the US national security council'ssenior director of western hemisphere affairs, said on Friday: "What thetwo presidents want to review is where we are and what needs to be done andwhat President Bush and President Lula can do to move forward."

Ethanol alliance

The two leaders' talks on ethanol will follow up amemorandum of understanding to promote international ethanol that the twonations signed when Bush visited Brazil on March 9.

Fisk said the two hoped to announce a handful of Caribbean and Central American nations that will be thebeneficiaries of pilot programs for biofuels development.

But Silva on Friday reiterated Brazil'sposition that the alternative fuel will not gain traction worldwide unless the US drops a$0.53 per gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol.

He wrote in The Washington Post: "Thesubsidies provided under America'scorn-based ethanol program have spurred an increase in US cereal prices ofabout 80 per cent."

"This hurts meat and soy processors worldwide andthreatens global food security."

The promotion of ethanol could eventually help the US reduce its demand for foreign oil, officialssay, lessening the energy dependence on volatile Middle Eastern nations and Venezuela.

But a potential source of friction emerged on Friday after US officials expressed concerned aboutinvestments that Brazil'sstate-owned oil company reportedly plans to make in Iran.

'International interest'

The US embassy in Brazil said: "We think foreign investmentin the petroleum and gas sectors in Iran is contrary to theinternational interest of pressuring the Iranian regime to accept itsinternational obligations, suspend its [uranium] enrichment-related andreprocessing activities."

The embassy released the statement after Brazil'sValor Economico business newspaper reported that Clifford Sobel, the US ambassador, recently warned Sergio Gabrielli,chief executive of Petroleo Brasileiro SA, that its plans for Iran could cause complications for the company'spetroleum drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Iranian oil ministry's information network, Shana, reported in earlyMarch that Petrobras will sign a $470 million contract with Iran to develop Caspian Seaoil reserves.

Petrobras has not confirmed the contract and only says it is in talks with Iran.

Besides its reported plans to invest in the Caspian, Petrobras, togetherwith Spanish energy firm Repsol-YPF, won a tender for exploration at the TosanBlock in the Arabian Gulf, Shana reported.

The companies plan to invest $35 million for exploration drilling at Tosan,Valor Economico said.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16