By Anna Kaiser, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – United States Vice President Joe Biden praised Brazil’s impressive development and reaffirmed the Obama administration’s commitment to build a prosperous relationship with the country in his speech at Mauá Pier in Rio de Janeiro’s Port Zone yesterday morning.
Biden assured the audience of about 250 Americans and Brazilians, including Mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, that strengthening the partnership between the two nations was top priority to the Obama Administration.
He highlighted the potential Brazil and the U.S. have given the sheer size of their economies and the groundbreaking technology and research emerging out of both countries, particularly lauding Brazilian innovation in biofuels and aviation engineering.
Vice President Biden also encouraged Brazil to take a leadership role in expanding world trade.
“Imagine all the good jobs that would be created from open trade between the U.S. and Brazil[...]To get there we have to do more to expand,” said Vice President Biden.
He cited “fewer regulatory measures” as a necessary step to facilitate this relationship, likely referring to Brazil’s reputation as a country with a protectionist tendency and a difficult-to-navigate labyrinth of laws and bureaucracy.
Vice President Biden heavily praised the rapid development of Brazil. Having spent 42 years in the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, he reflected on the fact that when he was first elected to Congress in 1971, Brazil was under a military dictatorship and was one of the world’s less developed countries.
Vice President Biden also noted that, in his opinion, Brazil’s biggest contribution to the world is that on its path to development, the country never compromised democracy. “Today in Brazil, political conflicts are solved with a ballot.”
“No longer can Brazil talk about being an emerging power, you have emerged,” Biden said. “And everyone has noticed.”
Biden concluded his speech at 1PM and he then proceeded to meet with Brazilian business executives before his visit to one of Rio’s favelas.
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