Washington — Closer cooperation between Brazil and the United States, in the private sector as well as other areas, can boost living standards in both countries and promote shared democratic values, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and other guests at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington.
Speaking April 9, Clinton said the two largest democracies and economies in the Western Hemisphere have “one of the most consequential relationships for the 21st century.”
It is important, she said, that as both countries promote their economic ties, they “try in every way possible to raise the standard of living of our two peoples,” with an economy that gives everyone “a fair chance to compete,” and to “do so within a strong framework of commitment to democratic values.”
The secretary said Brazil offers “an inspiring success story” after developing a dynamic economy that has allowed many Brazilians to advance into the middle class and is also helping to fuel the global economy through industries such as aerospace technologies.
She said innovative social programs such as conditional cash transfers have helped to expand Brazil’s middle class, and they made Brazil a model in demonstrating that “an economy growing is not an end in itself; it is a means to improving the lives of the people of a country.”
The maturing economic relationship between Brazil and the United States is increasing trade and business investment ties. Clinton said the task of developing stronger partnership and cooperation is not “a job solely for governments,” but “actually more the job for the private sectors, our universities, our civil societies, our citizens.”
She highlighted the Brazilian company Tecsis, which makes blades used in green energy–producing wind turbines, and said the 5,000-person company has now become a leader in the U.S. market, exporting more than half of its blades to the United States.
In return, she said, Tecsis receives 80 percent of the raw material needed to make the blades from the United States, and it has created a subsidiary company in Houston, Texas, that employs 150 workers to repair and maintain the blades used in the United States.
“This kind of partnership — call it cross-pollination, if you will — is increasingly achievable, and we want to see more of this,” Clinton said.
The secretary announced that the Obama administration is opening two new consulates, in Belo Horizonte and in Porto Alegre, in part to make it easier for Brazilians to get visas to come to the United States and also to promote more people-to-people contact.
She added that the U.S.-Brazil Aviation Partnership Memorandum, which will be signed later on April 9, is a “win-win” for both countries. The memorandum will promote increased and safer air travel between the two countries, helping “not only our aviation industries and business travel, but also more tourism and exchanges,” she said.