President Obama is taking a working vacation to Rio de Janeiro with his family. I question the timing of this trip based on current events and his low approval ratings. Here is his reasoning:
I’ll begin my trip by visiting Brazil to work with its new president, Dilma Rousseff, to strengthen the relationship between the hemisphere’s two largest democracies and economies. With around 200 million people, a growing middle class, and a per-capita income rising by almost 7% a year, Brazil imports more goods and services from the United States than from any other nation — mainly high-tech, manufactured goods from aircraft to chemicals to clean energy components.
Dilma Rousseff has an impressive background:
“She was 16 when Brazil fell prey to a military coup in 1964 and like many was soon drawn into the world of underground opposition.
“Introduced to Marxist politics by the man who became her first husband, Claudio Galeno, she helped build up one of the guerrilla organisations trying to overthrow the government – at one point spending three years in prison.
“After democracy was restored she had a daughter, Paula, now a 33-year-old lawyer, with her second husband Carlos Araújo, a revolutionary leader who had met Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. She trained as an economist she entered conventional left-wing politics and professional public service.
Is Mr. Obama going to discuss our loan to Petrobas last year?
The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil’s Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.
Or maybe Mr. Obama is going to discuss Brazil’s deep water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico:
Petrobras, the Brazilian state-run energy giant, is to begin drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico this month with deep water technology never before used in US waters.
The [Petrobas] Cascade and Chinook wells lie 180 miles south of Louisiana in water depths ranging from 8,200 to 8,850 feet (2,500 – 2,697 metres).
By comparison, the top of the BP well involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster of April 2010 was about 5,000ft (1,524 metres) below the surface.
When will our companies be allowed to drill in the Gulf of Mexico? The moratorium has been removed but now extraordinary measures and regulations are in place that are restricting new operations. Maybe Mr. Obama can convince Mrs. Rousseff to comply with the same regulations that have been imposed on our oil production.