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Obama in Brazil, Balancing Latin American Swing With Libyan Crisis

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President Obama, balancing the crisis in Libya with a long-planned trip to Latin America, arrived in Brazil Saturday at the outset of a three-country swing aimed at strengthening the nation's economic relationship with its neighbors and improving regional security.

"As we respond to these immediate crises abroad, we also will not let up in our efforts to tackle the pressing, ongoing challenges facing our country, including accelerating economic growth," Obama said in his weekly address before departing.

Latin America is experiencing rapid economic growth, the president said, and is open for business with North American companies. "We now export more than three times as much to Latin America as we do to China, and our exports to the region will soon support more than two million jobs here in the United States," he said.

After Air Force 1 landed in Brasilia, the capital, Obama was briefed on the fluid situation in Libya by National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.
On a drizzly day, Obama was met at the Brasilia airport by U.S. Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon, prior to a formal welcoming ceremony and bilateral session with Brazil President Dilma Rousseff at the presidential palace. Rousseff accepted an invitation to visit the United States later this year.

Later at a meeting with CEOs, Obama said the two countries would enter into a new trade and cooperation deal and also an open skies agreement, liberalizing the countries' respective rules for air routes, capacity and pricing of commercial airliners.

The president was accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, their daughters Sasha and Malia, and Marian Robinson, the president's mother-in-law. He will also visit Chile and El Salvador in Central America.

Speaking in Brasilia Saturday at a youth cultural event, Michelle Obama noted that she had come from a modest working class background. "I want you all to look at me and see that anything is possible, That's why I'm here... " she said. "I hope that you all will keep pushing yourselves. I hope you all will keep pushing one another. I hope that you all continue to work as a commnity, you support each other, that you encourage each other...."

In Washington, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, said Obama should consider proposing a reciprocal tax treaty with Brazil, so companies doing business with both nations can avoid double taxation, the Associated Press said.

Watch Obama's weekly remarks.




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66 Comments

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fpfp040408

GOD BLESS OBAMA !! He is saving this world !! PLUS ,Unemployment down ! PRESIDENT OBAMA has been very effective in bringing legislation like health care and financil reform to fruition in the midst of two wars and a bad recession, which by the way, he had nothing to do with, and now when the Middle East is in termoil he has been very steady in handling the situation. He is the most intelligent president in modern history, and when he gets a second term and the Congress back, you will see new life given to a dying middle class

March 21 2011 at 11:50 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
glendahail

So glad we have an honest,smart Pres. No lies,just facts. Obama rocks!!!

March 21 2011 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TESS

Huffington post are Obama supporters, He is on Spring break... But Media is ignoring that...any other president would be protested against, the fact is that he has NO idea what he is doing. Hillary Clinton is taking the lead in this situation, While Obama is busy avoiding it. He is to busy building his plans for 2012, working with the unions. Not working for Americans as a whole. Things he has done is not so far removed from other Presidents. But people are praising him. I am so sick of the ignorance and the complete disregard for the country as a whole.

March 21 2011 at 9:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
vitorjames2010

Facts are facts. In the next year Brazil will overtake France and Britain and will become the fifth world economy, just behind Germany.
An economic powerhouse like this can not be neglected.
Also, if U.S. did not antecipate, China will occupy all the spaces in international trade, as has already occupied.
China is the main trading partner of Brazil.
Moreover, in two years Brazil will become a major exporter of oil. If the U.S. did not join in time, will also lose this important global supplier of energy. It is an opportunity to exclude certain suppliers of oil in the troubled Middle East, by choosing a more trusted neighbor as Brazil.

March 21 2011 at 7:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joe

While Obama is in Brazil he should take note of the improving economy there and learn how that economy is much improved since Brazil has become a major oil producing country., He should also ask for a list of the American investors in Brazilian Oil. He would find the names of many of his friends on that list. Their investments are probably paying huge dividends since our own oil production was practically shut down since the BP spill.

March 20 2011 at 10:40 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lhudson828

Why is Obama avoiding Columbia? Its because of the unon hold on American policy toward Columbia and free trade. Once a staunch ally, Columbia would be justified to look elsewhere for a friend since we are proving to be untrust worthy to the many once friends we had throughout the world. Don't look to America for leadership. Obama has committed America to being a follower not a leader. It matches the yellow streak down Obama's back as an unqualified international leader for a free world. Thats the legacy of socialism.

March 20 2011 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
inasctg56

And another trade agreement will be made with Brazil that does benefit american workers. Just like the one's made with China and South Korea that have increased our exports. I suggest you google just how much our manufacturing and exports have gone up under the Obama administration before making your negative comments

March 20 2011 at 8:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
pafp127

I suggest you gop followers look up how much our exports and manufacturing have increased during the last 19 months. He is there negotiating a trade agreement that will increase more exports and manufacturing jobs for the US. We finally have an administration that's negotiating trade agreements for american workers instead of for corporations to make record profits overseas.

March 20 2011 at 7:55 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
deruwid9

How nice to mix just enough business to get away with the pleasure - while a struggling America turns a hopeful eye to 2012.

March 20 2011 at 5:22 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
okitori

Isn't it funny the media never shows Michelle's mother stepping off the plane--do they not want the taxpayers to see how not only are we paying for the Obama's to vacation all over the world but we are also paying for "mommy" to travel the world with them. There was just a brief pic of her at the party. Wouldn't you love to be able to afford to take your mother around the world on someone else's dime? and exactly how much is the taxpayer paying to support her in the WH--you know, doctors, beauticians, limos, dining, travel, designers, etc. I can remember when Obama was in Russia and he was saying how lucky his daughters were to be able to visit and learn about all the countries. These people are millionaires--why didn't they take the children and mother around the world before he became Pres.

March 20 2011 at 4:55 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to okitori's comment
deruwid9

Because they would have to pay for it themselves. And lobster just tastes better when someone else pays for it - and you can order extra desserts!

March 20 2011 at 5:11 PM Report abuse -11 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to deruwid9's comment
gophatesus

Wow two really petty people. First off the mother watches the children. Second I am sure there is plenty of room on the jet and I bet she is not a big eater........I think we can afford it..........

March 20 2011 at 5:19 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down

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