Obama’s Latin American Outreach? China Overtakes the US as Brazil’s Largest Trading Partner

China has become Brazil’s most-important trading partner, disrupting a relationship between the United States and the Latin country that stretches back to the 1930s.

By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
The Telegraph (UK)

Welber Barral, the Brazilian trade minister, said total trade between Brazil and China had amounted to $3.2bn (£2.14bn) in April, representing a near twelve-fold increase since 2001.

The sum was greater than the $2.8 billion of imports and exports to the US and represented the second consecutive month that China had topped the trade table.

“It is a historic moment,” he said, adding that he expected China to remain in pole position for the rest of the year because its economy is still growing healthily. “China is now a platinum account [for Brazil],” said Douglas Smith, a Latin American economist for Standard Chartered bank.

The US has been Brazil’s principal trading partner for nearly 80 years, but a sudden surge in Chinese demand for Brazilian iron ore in the first quarter of this year dislodged the Americans.

The news is the latest sign of China’s increasing challenge to US hegemony in Latin America. China has been steadily increasing its sphere of influence and has become particularly close to the four “Red” South American countries: Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/
5296515/China-overtakes-the-US-as-Br
azils-largest-trading-partner.html

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