Ethanol and trade were the two main topics discussed by the presidents of Brazil and the United States meeting over the weekend at Camp David.
“We talked about biofuels,” said President Bush in a joint press conference with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Saturday. “And I told the President that not only are we committed domestically to promoting a alternative fuel industry, we’re committed to working with Brazil. And that’s why we support the President’s initiative on the international biofuels forum, as well as the initiative that we talked about in Sao Paulo, and signed a memorandum of understanding, and that is to help nations in our own hemisphere realize the benefits of ethanol and biodiesel.”
President Silva’s statement heavily emphasized biofuels. “It’s important to say to President Bush, here in Camp David, in his residence, that, for me, the biofuel issue is almost like an obsession,” he said through an interpreter. “And now we are facing a period, a moment, where this new energy matrix can make the world more independent.”
While Silva said the meeting with Bush was “most productive” he had nothing new to take back with him to Brazil, an indication that President Bush remained firm in his commitment to retain the current tariff on imports of ethanol from Brazil, which is in place to offset the blenders credit for ethanol produced in the United States.
Read the presidents’ press conference transcript from the White House website.