Brazil's Lula, Obama to work on trade, biofuels

BRASILIA Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:51pm EST

BRASILIA (Reuters) - President Barack Obama wants to work with Brazil on biofuels and pledged to advance global trade talks as a way to stoke economic growth, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's spokesman said on Monday.

Lula and Obama spoke by phone for about 25 minutes and agreed to meet in March in Washington, Lula spokesman Marcelo Baumbach said.

Obama may visit Brazil in the Northern Hemisphere's summertime, between July and September, though no date has been set.

In his national radio address last week, Lula urged Obama to make the Doha round of global trade talks a priority.

"President Obama said he is interested in continuing discussions to advance the Doha round, given the importance of global trade to confront the current international economic crisis," Baumbach said.

Obama said the United States has much to gain by cooperating with Brazil on biofuels, according to Baumbach. The new U.S. president has made the increased use of alternative energy sources, including biofuels, a key goal of his administration.

Brazil is among the world's biggest users of alternative fuels, with nearly 90 percent of all new automobiles in the country so-called flex-fuel cars that can run on ethanol made from sugarcane.

(Reporting by Fernando Exman; Writing by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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