Liveblogging the Lula-Obama press conference


Obama introduces Lula by praising his progressive policies.

1:05 Lula in turn, starts by stressing the importance of trade between the countries. He goes down the list:

  • strengthen our nations’ trade,
  • common goals,
  • biofuels,
  • historic opportunity to improve the relations with Latin America.
  • Doha round of negotiations (on free trade and tarriffs)

Obama’s talking progressive policies, Lula is talking about free trade and business.

Question on the economic crisis and China’s debt holdings:
Obama “the stability of our economic system and our political system is extraordinary”
Lula: “The worse the situation. the worse the investment gets on developing countries. This is the problem we’re facing. Brazil is the least affected country but we also have the possibility to get out of the crisis…But the fact is that money has vanished and if we don’t make credit supply flow again, we’ll be hurting.”

Question in Portuguese on energy policy:
Brazilians don’t understand how a clean fuel can not reach US markets because of US tarriffs [which amount to 54 cents a gallon but I need to check that]
Obama: “We have a lot to learn from Brazil on clean energy development, change ideas and technology. The issue of Brazilian ethanol has been a source of tension; it’s not going to change overnight…over time this source of tension can get resolved.”
Lula 1:15PM: “This is the 1st meeting that we’ve had. My answer is your question: I can understand the concern with carbon emissions and climate change. Tony Blair, Sarkozy, former Pres. Bush, have all discussed this. Slowly the countries will be convinced and slowly other countries will join the biofuel effort. I have talked to President Obama and things will move forward as people start changing. Thank God that Brazil has had for years control of this technology, and I’ll show Pres. Obama a flex-fuel vehicle we have developed.”
Obama then says we have a flex fuel vehicle but not the right gas station.

Lula ate Obama’s lunch on this answer.

1:20PM Question on g-20:
Obama goes into a totally defensive answer questioning the reporter’s sources and then goes on to talk about having an international body to account for amount of stimulus every country is doing so governments can keep track. An absurd answer if there ever was one. Then “we’re going to make sure that the systemic reasons of this crisis won’t happen again.”
I hope Obama did not point to Lula when he mentioned “very poor countries.”
Lula: “We presidents all talk too much.” Whoot! “We can not afford to go to [the G20] looking for someone to blame. We need to find the answers. We must have a special credit supply to the poorest countries and we also need to strenghten international institutions like the IMF, World Bank. We’re on a large ship, and it’s leaking. Two key words: re establish and restore credit in the world, re establish and restore confidence. We must have confidence in democracy. This crisis is an extraordinary opportunity to prove the goals that elected us: that we are capable to deal with major issues….The bottom line is that we need is to create jobs, to create demand and consumption, and to generate development, so we’re very optimistic. We have to make joint decisions.”

1:23PM Question in Portuguese on dangers of protectionism and will the US purchase Brazilian goods.
Obama: Will have cabinet member check on that. “The US needs to recognize the dangers of a trade war. It’s important to understand that US businesses will benefit from our exports… Our goal is to at least not go backwards. The “Buy American” provision will not violate WTO rules. It may be difficult to finalize a host of trade deals in a crisis like this…I’m optimistic we’ll find a way. Job growth, income growth, won’t build a fence across countries.”
Lula: “Why didn’t we manage to close the [free trade] deal if there was a minor issue in the way? I believe it was because there was an election that got in the way. Europe and the US almost managed to get market access, but two issues, 1 in India and one in the US, got in the way. Now on the crisis, we might be able to relieve the developing world in this crisis. The US and Brazil trade $53 billion… it is clear, for the size of the 2 countries we don’t have much trade flow. What is the problem? What happens each country wants to sell, and foreign trade is a two-way street, and we need to strengthen this idea because protectionism will aggravate the economic crisis…. This is much more than a practical issue. I hope the US and Brazil can mature their thinking ahead of the G20 so we can present a joint solution. I’m very optimistic.”
Obama “I’m very optimistic and I hope to see him in Brazil.” (no specific date for that) Hopes to go to the beaches in Rio.

Dude!

The impression is that Lula is the pro and Obama the amateur.
Or, as my son, who was also watching said, “Lula cleaned Obama’s clock when it comes to the quality of the answers.”

Lula was focused and laid out the agenda: strong binds between the two countries, free trade, doing away with tariffs particularly on biofuels, job creation, and easing the credit crisis.
Obama just went along for the ride.

I’ll add a photo once one is available.

UPDATE
Welcome, Instapundit readers. You might want to check out this post on why Brazil is a key country.

Update 2
BBC photo added, and their article is titled, Lula warns US about protectionism
Ponder that a moment, folks. A socialist warning an American president against protectionism.

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18 Responses to “Liveblogging the Lula-Obama press conference”

  1. R. Richard Schweitzer Says:

    This was an early example O J T of a Chicago Alderman in the office of Chief Executive; where that role is not that of a “planner.”

  2. Sean Says:

    There could be no better investment in America than to invest in America becoming energy independent! We need to utilize everything in out power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil including using our own natural resources. Create cheap clean energy, new badly needed green jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.The high cost of fuel this past year seriously damaged our economy and society. The cost of fuel effects every facet of consumer goods from production to shipping costs. After a brief reprieve gas is inching back up.OPEC will continue to cut production until they achieve their desired 80-100. per barrel.If all gasoline cars, trucks, and SUV’s instead had plug-in electric drive trains the amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota.We have so much available to us such as wind and solar. Let’s spend some of those bail out billions and get busy harnessing this energy. Create cheap clean energy, badly needed new jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. What a win-win situation that would be for our nation at large! There is a really good new book out by Jeff Wilson called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now. http://www.themanhattanprojectof2009.com

  3. Obi's Sister Says:

    …”have cabinet member check on that.”

    Who would that be? The one that was supposed to run the spell checker?

  4. Obi's Sister Says:

    P.S. Great job! I wonder if Lula was muttering under his breath, “What a lightweight!”

  5. Getting Schooled in Freedom and Trade by Lula : The Sundries Shack Says:

    […] Fausta has been liveblogging the press conference with President Obama and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, best known to everyone but our own State Department as Lula. It makes for interesting reading, but here’s her takeaway line: Obama’s talking progressive policies, Lula is talking about free trade and business. […]

  6. Ursus Says:

    did Lula alao get a box set of DVDs??

  7. CJ Says:

    On his visit to Canada Obama came off pretty much the same way in comparison to Prime Minister Harper. Expect more of the same.

  8. Paolo Says:

    Zero got spanked, wow!

    Viva Brasil!

  9. Pat Patterson Says:

    How can this be, Pres Obama went to Harvard, he edited the Harvard Law Review, wrote two books and is not from Texas? Is it just possible that he is charasmatic and not coherent or ingratiating without being intellectual? Or is he emblematic of the same disease that affects the military once in a while and is merely a ticket puncher who got very lucky.

  10. Fausta Says:

    Well, Pat, there’s Harvard, and then there’s having to really work to get where you got.

  11. JM Hanes Says:

    “Obama’s talking progressive policies, Lula is talking about free trade and business.”

    Truly, he world has been stood on its head, hasn’t it? Lula even referred to George Bush in a positive light! He’s sure got Obama’s number: “We can not afford to go to [the G20] looking for someone to blame.”

    When the G-20 get a real taste of the pablum Obama dishes up, they may soon be ordering “I miss W” bumper stickers for their flex-fuel cars.

  12. Naked ambition triumphs in Pakistani politics (AFP) — But As For Me Says:

    […] Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » Liveblogging the Lula-Obama press … […]

  13. Obama vs. Lula « O Insurgente Says:

    […] vs. Lula Arquivar em: Internacional, Política — André Azevedo Alves @ 2:00 pm Obama’s talking progressive policies, Lula is talking about free trade and business. Question in Portuguese on dangers of protectionism and will the US purchase Brazilian goods. […]

  14. GayPatriot » Why Does “Progressive” Mean Bigger Role for State? Says:

    […] I read a comment on the press conference between President Obama and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, “Obama’s talking progressive policies, Lula is talking about free trade and business.”  My […]

  15. PD Says:

    “wrote two books”

    Yes, on the only subject he knows anything about.

  16. sage Says:

    Lula is today the world’s most enlightened & visionary leader. May God continue blessing him by giving him the strength & stamina to pursue what is in Brasil’s best interests!

  17. Carlinhos Says:

    You Brazilians are so nationalistic. Its not a competition, gente.

  18. Harold Bwena Says:

    Obama meets with Lula da Silva. What a couple of mental lightweights.

    Brown skinned Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva or Looney da Silva as he his often referred to, is an ignorant racist. If he’s going to blame white people for the current problems, he should also praise them for their achievements: the printing press, the automobile; the telephone; the electric light, the list goes on. In fact, achievments by white people actually exceed the number of brain cells in President Looney da Silva’s little head.