Webcast Recap

**To read the full report for this event, please click on the cover image to the left or scroll down to the report link at the bottom of the page. Below is a brief summary of the event's proceedings.**

Brazilian Ambassador to the United States Antonio Patriota introduced the first session by observing that the Brazilian-U.S. bilateral relationship has been advancing "rapidly and practically, in all areas," constituting "a moment of great promise" for both countries. Jeffrey Schott, senior fellow of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, argued that the window of opportunity to conclude the Doha Round talks in 2008 is closed. This is a result of countries' singular focus on agriculture, which curbs discussion over other vital issues such as service and infrastructure development. Many developing countries, he continued, are less engaged in the process because they are turning to preferential trade arrangements instead of relying on multilateral negotiations. José Raúl Perales, senior program associate of the Latin American Program, compared developments in the Uruguay Round with the Doha Round. He noted how different the economic and political environments in the United States and Latin America's are today than they were in 1994. Latin American countries are less engaged in the discussions this time around because they are giving more importance to preferential trade agreement on a bilateral and regional basis; meanwhile, in the United States there has been significant public and political pushback against trade agreements, as many openly question their economic benefit.

Ambassador Roberto Carvalho de Azevedo, undersecretary for Economic and Technological Affairs of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations, contended that high expectations are becoming the greatest impediment to a conclusion of the Doha Round. In order to move beyond the current impasse, governments must be willing to expend the political capital necessary to move the debate beyond the current "zero-sum game" mentality that is stalling Doha. Jon Huenemann concurred with the argument that there are many obstacles to concluding the Round in 2008. He observed, however, that as a result of today's rapidly-evolving global economy, it is imperative that all countries strive to conclude negotiations quickly, or else risk the Doha Round becoming irrelevant.

Other participants debated various market structures and policy alternatives to tackle the issue of climate change through international trade law, as well as the potential impact Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT) may have on promoting trade between the United States and Brazil. Panelists included Aluisio de Lima-Campos, chairman of the ABCI Institute; Thomas B. Felsberg, a partner at Felsberg & Associados; Andrew W. Shoyer, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP; Gawain Kripke, senior policy adviser at Oxfam America; Lynn Fischer Fox, counsel for Thompson Hine LLP; Gary Horlick, a partner at Wilmerhale LLP; and Nicole Bivens Collinson, vice president of trade negotiations and legislative affairs at Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.; Jean E. Kalicki, partner at Arnold & Porter LLP; Minister Ronaldo Costa Filho, head of the Division of Services on Investment and Financial Issues at Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations; Christine Bliss, assistant of the USTR for services and investment; Arif Hyder Ali, partner at Crowell & Moring LLP; and Melida Hodgson, counsel for Miller & Chevalier.