U.S. President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met on Tuesday at the White House in order to discuss the problematic relations the countries have because of a spying controversy.
In late 2013, the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the United States have been spying on the Brazilian President, which was a reason why Rousseff has canceled her official state visit of the U.S. in October of 2013.
The two presidents met in Washington and before engaging in a working dinner they visited the memorial for the civil rights activist Martin Luther King Junior. At the press conference they said that they discussed many issues with spying being one of them.
According to Reuters Rousseff has stated that things have changed since 2013 and that she has a strong belief in Barack Obama. She said “The change is particularly due to the fact that President Obama and the U.S. government have stated on several occasions that they would no longer engage in intrusive acts of spying on friendly countries. I believe President Obama.”
The feelings are mutual with President Obama stating that “I trust her completely. She has always been very candid and frank with me about the interests of the Brazilian people and how we can work together. She has delivered on what she has promised.”
This praise from Obama, saying that Brazil has become a global power and an indispensible U.S. partner, comes after Brazil’s role in climate change and a deal for renewable energy sources. They also discussed travel topics with an agreement that Americans and Brazilians should travel without visas between their countries and was arranged that in early 2016 Brazilians would be able to enter the U.S. with a Global Entry clearance.
Being amidst a political crisis due to illegal donations to Rousseff’s campaign, as well as an economic crisis, Brazil is hopeful for more U.S. investments and an improved business climate Rousseff and Obama have agreed on cooperation on patent regulations and standards systems, as well as social security contributions by their citizens to both programs.
The visit is of great importance to Brazil in order to overcome the crisis and a way to open Brazil’s economy, because until now it has been much closed with many import tariffs and trade barriers. The steps taken by the Presidents of both countries will make it easier for people and goods to have free movement between the two countries, particularly the fresh beef trade. The bilateral cooperation is supposed to continue with a planned meeting of the two Presidents in Brasilia, where they will discuss broader matters and cyber security. Rousseff is to continue to Silicon Valley to meet with executives of Google, Apple and Facebook.