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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – It is possible to significantly increase the market for Brazilian products abroad if the country is able to break down trade barriers, says a Brazilian diplomat working with the World Trade Organization (WTO), and this could help Brazil come out of its economic crisis faster.

Brazil, Curitiba,WTO Brazilian official, Celso de Tarso Pereira, speaks at the 4th Agriculture Forum of South America,
WTO Brazilian official, Celso de Tarso Pereira, speaks at the 4th Agriculture Forum of South America, photo by Daniel Isaia/Agencia Brasil.

“We have competitive products, produced without subsidies, they should have unimpeded access in key markets,” said Celso de Tarso Pereira on Thursday during the fourth edition of the Agriculture Forum of South America, held in Curitiba.

The diplomat says the main challenge for exporters are enormous restrictions, quotas and tariffs that prevent Brazilian goods from being competitive abroad. According to Pereira Brazil is a leader in sugar and chicken exports but is only able to sell to the European Union through a tariff quota system.

What exceeds the quota is taxed with higher import tariffs. “The challenge is to define a strategy to dismantle these barriers,” concludes the official.

In addition to quotas and higher tariffs there are often restrictions by foreign buyers on Brazilian agricultural products, under the pretext that they do not follow international health standards. “Barriers are imposed without proper scientific basis, only with a protectionist intent,” noted Pereira.

To resolve the problem, the diplomat suggests first direct negotiations with potential importers, ‘to convince them that Brazilian products meet international health standards’. If that is unsuccessful, Pereira says, Brazil may resort to more drastic actions, such as litigation actions at the WTO against barriers imposed without scientific basis.

The Brazilian government also believes that by removing barriers and increasing agribusiness exports, Brazil could come out of its economic crisis more quickly. According to Odilson Ribeiro e Silva, International Relations Secretary, at the Ministry of Agriculture, the government’s goal is to increase the Brazilian agribusiness participation in world trade from the current 6.9 percent to ten percent.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I have only good wishes for the people of Brasil but I find it interesting that the government of Brasil seeks to reduce or eliminate trade barriers and tariffs on products from Brasil when at the same time consumer items like automobiles, televisions and numerous other goods cost twice as much in Brasil as they do in other countries like the United States. I do not think that is fair to the people of Brasil who want to purchase these goods.

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