March 19 (Reuters) - Brazil and the United States agreed on Saturday to boost future cooperation on a range of key issues including trade and energy. [ID:nN19221672]
The agreements were signed on the first day of U.S. President Barack Obama’s two-day visit to Brazil, where he met with Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff and a host of local and U.S. business executives.
Following is a summary of the agreements that were signed:
The United States seeks to be “a strategic energy partner” to Brazil, which recently discovered major new offshore oil reserves. Obama said the United States wants to be one of Brazil’s “best customers” when the oil starts flowing.
Both nations also will increase cooperation on producing biofuels with a specific separate agreement to team up on developing biofuels for aviation.
Washington will provide $1 billion in financing for infrastructure projects in Brazil’s oil sector via the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Other financing will go toward joint projects between U.S. and Brazilian companies in third countries, mainly in Africa.
A separate deal will seek to improve cooperation on infrastructure and security at the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, which Brazil will host.
The countries signed a Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement, or TECA, which establishes a road map for future trade negotiations. The deal has been a major goal of diplomats for years, but progress was halted in 2010 when relations between the United States and Brazil soured over Iran.
The leaders agreed the U.N. Security Council should undergo “modest” expansion. Brazilians had been hopeful Obama would voice clear support for their campaign for a permanent council seat but the statement instead offered more timid “appreciation” from Obama for these aspirations.
International financial institutions should be modernized to reflect changes in the world economy, a joint statement said. There should be more transparency in commodity markets and improved regulation of price-setting mechanisms. The presidents expressed “strong commitment” to the conclusion of the Doha round of trade talks at the World Trade Organization.
The two nations signed a deal on cooperation for peaceful uses of outer space and proposed a working group to collaborate on satellite monitoring of Earth. U.S. officials have said they hope to eventually gain greater use of a Brazilian launch facility near the equator. (Reporting by Peter Murphy and Brian Winter; Editing by Bill Trott)