tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 19, 2013 10:35pm-1:01am EST
accessible to everyone. humor that happened in everybody's lives. they might not recognize it until they saw it written on the page or in a newspaper column. time things happen all the but we have to be on the lookout for them. she was the one that focused our attention on the funny things that happen in a family. think that at the moment see my craziness and drive you nuts but when you look back at them, you say, that was really funny. that is a real gift. that is a literary gift. >> the life and times of erma bo mbeck this weekend as book tv and american history tv look at the literary life of dayton, ohio. >> former nsa contractor edward
snowden recently asked brazil for political asylum. ambassador to. brazil talks about u.s. relations with the country. from the wilson center, this is two hours. >> good morning. good morning to our good friends in the audience. i am jane harman. i am delighted to welcome you to this before the christmas holiday. the wilson center knows a lot about brazil. so does tom shannon. our brazil institute is the premier place in washington for dialogue on u.s.-brazil policy. we were first to honor the president of brazil. we sponsor the brazil economic conference.
we host brazilian governors and legislators. we air the good, the bad, and the ugly in our relationship. tom shannon represents the good. i hope he is relieved to hear that. ther close to four years as foreign ambassador to brazil, he is back in washington as senior advisor to secretary kerry. there are lots of rumors about his future. ... brazil is the b in bricks. president rousseff was an alleged target of u.s. surveillance. these will be addressed by mr. shannon. before asking tony to introduce tom, let me applaud the efforts
of washington and brazil to move past the snowden issues and to reschedule president rousseff's visit to early next year. i strongly disagree with what edward snowden did, but i welcome the public debate about how we should restart, reset what we do on surveillance. as the two largest economies and democracies of the americas, our interests are more convergent than divergent. as tom shannon likes to say, the challenge for the u.s. and brazilian governments is to catch up and align policies to this reality. that is why tom shannon is here. he will help us understand the landscape in this post snowden era. let me turn the program over to
tony harrington. he served as u.s. ambassador to brazil during the clinton administration. welcome, tony. >> thank you. thank you, jane. thank you for the fine leadership that you bring to this important institution in washington. i first met tom shannon in 1999 when i was unexpectedly preparing to go to brazil as u.s. ambassador. i had a mandate to update an important and under attended bilateral relationship. i also met paulo sotero about
the same time. they accelerate my appreciation and understanding of brazil. tom was nsc staff director at the time and it was apparent that he was not only knowledgeable about brazil, but had developed an unusual awareness and affection for the country while serving as assistant to a prior u.s. ambassador. with tom's advice and help, we were able to conclude significant agreements and open new space in u.s.-brazil cooperation.
tom has been a rising star in our foreign service. he was white house senior director. the brazilian government was delighted to see him come back to brazil. he was nominated as an accomplished ambassador to brazil and returned briefly long enough to add a couple of gray hairs as secretary of political affairs at the request of secretary clinton. two jobs, one salary. last year, tom was nominated and confirmed by the senate to the
rank of career ambassador. it is a rare recognition of extraordinarily distinguished members of the u.s. foreign service, given to only 53 diplomats over the last 50 years. as jane noted, secretary kerry has brought tom to the inner circle as senior advisor and history continues to unfold. as ambassador tom was the architect between the u.s. and brazil after a period of some malaise in the relationship. president obama made an unprecedented early visit to brazil.
in his address to a very large congregation, he observed it was time that brazil and the u.s. enjoy a level of engagement on par with that of u.s. with china and india for example. it helped reset the relationship. the openness and engagement was a constructive step and it was followed by president rousseff visit here. she set the theme as brazil-u.s. strategic partnerships for the 21st century. agendas were set at the level
that we need to get on with. this mutual high-level outreach would not have happened without the skill and diplomacy of our ambassador at work in brazil and back home. as we know, further elevation in the brazil-u.s. relationship was emphasized by the state visit planned a couple months ago. the last such visit, state visit to washington, was more than 18 years ago. all of you are aware of the developments that led to the two presidents to announce the postponement of the visit. i hope the review of the national security agency intelligence programs will resolve questions that are
recognized as legitimate. in so doing, this will permit rescheduling of the visit and moving forward with the relationship. having paid attention to the relationship since i was ambassador, i believe the reasons that led president obama to make the invitation and president rousseff to accept remain valid and current. further and deeper engagement is in the interest of both governments. the civil societies in both countries and the business sectors whose interest are remarkably, and policy
objectives of the u.s. and brazil business communities are remarkably the same. i heard this confluence of interests clearly stated and reiterated when i was in brazil last week for the clinton global initiative in rio and then the largest annual conference held by the national confederation of industry in brazil. both occasions addressed by president rousseff. president clinton opened the clinton global initiative meetings, he was also asked by the national confederation of industry to address the body, but he was prevented because of his travel in connection with a memorial for president mandela.
the leadership of cni told me it was the largest gathering they had and several people called up saying they wanted to hear bill clinton do his thing. the awkwardness around the nsa issues in no way diminish the achievements of the service of our just returned ambassador, tom shannon. we are fortunate to have him serving with secretary kerry. it has been a personal privilege to work with tom shannon for more than a dozen years, as i
know it is a pleasure for all of us to have him with us here this morning to share perspectives that are unique on the state of relations and the future of relations in u.s.-brazil. we will have some time for discussion moderated by brazil institute director paulo sotero, as well. please help me welcome tom shannon. [applause] >> good morning. it is a great pleasure to be here. to jane harman, thank you so much to your welcome. to tony harrington, thank you for your kind words. my mother appreciates them. to paulos otero, thank you for
the tremendous work you have done here at the institute. before we came out here, we were talking about the work that the woodrow wilson center and the brazil institute are doing on our larger western hemisphere issues. as many of you know, this is a busy town. we have a variety of divergent and immediate interests and keeping our elected leaders and thought leaders focused on our larger neighborhood. sometimes it is a challenge. you have institutes like the atlanta council expressing issue in trying to establish their own focus, that is tribute to the richness of this field and the importance of it. i am grateful for the tremendous work that you have done here.
thank you. this was billed as a conversation with me, so i would like to make a conversation as quickly as possible. i would like to open this up to address your interests and your concerns. before i do that, i want to say a few things and share a few thoughts. many of you know i spent nearly four years in brazil. i have had the good fortune of being asked by secretary kerry to work with him on broader issues. i am being globalized. my interest in brazil has not waned. as brazil inserts itself deeper into the world, it will not let me go. i will have a profound interest in u.s.-brazil relationships. brazil and the united states look to share cooperative paths
that will benefit both of our countries. nearly four years ago, i was invited by paulo to speak here. in that instance, i made a few assertions. the first was that, although brazil had been described as an emerging power, i said that i did not agree with that. it was not emerging. it had already emerged. it was already exercising a role as an important global player. it needed to be recognized and understood. secondly, i said that brazil's emergence was a product of its domestic transformation as it addressed long-standing social inequities like poverty, inequality, and social exclusion. they built a functioning democracy and created one of the largest economies in the world.
an economy which was building a large consumer base middle class that was globalizing as it developed. its emergence was putting brazil in contact with the united states and this new engagement with brazil, whether it was in the middle east, africa, asia, or in the americas, it meant that the united states had to understand brazil in a different light. brazil also had to rethink its relationship with the united states. finally, i noted that while brazil and the united states had historically been friendly, there was a polite distance that we had gone about our business. increasingly, we have seen more connectivity between our societies and our peoples that
was going to affect our diplomacy and foreign policy towards each other. with time, our people and society were going to become the drivers of our relationship and not our government. i would argue that i was right in all of those assertions. if anything else, my four years in brazil have convinced me that they are still valid. although brazil has seen its own fair share of internal political effervescence with the many demonstrations we saw across brazil, this is evidence of the health of brazilian democracy. there is broad public space for citizens to demonstrate and protest and make their views
heard. brazilian institutions have the capacity to respond in a meaningful way. as we look ahead, we understand brazil's domestic transformation, because it was done within a market context, has shown that the democracy and the markets are not about status quo or protecting privileges. they are about creating space. the people themselves can have a central role in determining the developmental direction of a country. this is a powerful message. it is a powerful message to countries around the world. whether it is moving from a target development model to ones
of regional integration, and whether it is moving from isolation to globalization, i think brazil has laid out a pathway or an example of sorts that should be encouraging. not just to the united states as we look to influence the world in ways that are meaningful to us, but also as countries try to determine how they can harness the peace and stability that democracy and markets can offer to address social challenges. from our point of view, our ability to work with brazil and engage with them, not just bilaterally, but globally, and to try to shape areas and
methods of cooperation, whether it is in methods of foreign assistance, agricultural, public health areas, addressing peaceful resolutions, or fashioning broad trade agreements, how we relate to brazil and how they relate to us is going to be important. one of the striking things that has happened over the past several years has been the growing connectivity between our societies and people. the most evident and dramatic evidence of that is in tourism. over the past 10 years, our visa demand has increased by over 600%. it increased by 32% last year and continues on an upward swing, even with the brazilian
economy has slowed considerably. the exchange rate has declined, as far as brazilian consumers in -- and tourists are concerned. this indicates brazilian society is globalizing at a fast pace. brazilians are connecting broadly in the united states, whether it be as tourists or investors. in this regard, what we are seeing increasingly as a response from the united states for growing interest in brazil and increase in tourism, although not at the same level we are seeing on the brazilian side. it is a dramatic increase in business and investment areas. the travel to the u.s. of governors, mayors, state economic development leaders, businesses, it has been
remarkable. we have seen a significant increase in our bilateral trade. well over $100 billion in goods and services. this is a trade potential that is only being barely exploited. there is a lot more that can and should be done. the focus of our relationship on building out has been one of the priorities of this administration. certainly, one of the priorities of secretary clinton. it remains a priority of secretary kerry. what is striking about the emergence of this new connectivity is that i believe, increasingly, our societies will determine the direction of our relationship. both of our governments, by encouraging this, will build a balance in the relationship.
we are creating a constituency that will demand our governments to solve problems that we might not be willing or prepared to address in the immediate moment. that will bring me to the disclosure portion eventually. before i get there, the larger point i want to make is that as we look at this relationship over the past several years, our purpose was to build what we call a 21st century partnership. i told the press when i arrived in brazil in february that, and it has become a mantra of the relationship. it was used as the slogan of our relationship when president rousseff visited the united states the first time. as we built out this 21st- century partnership and realize we needed to build a more solid
and robust dialogue structure, we realized we needed to focus on the quality of dialogue. we needed to connect our governments at leader levels to ensure that our bureaucracies had clear direction and impetus to move forward on important issues. we discovered that our points of view converged. this does not mean they were always the same. there are still some stark differences. what is important, we found important areas of cooperation and concern. whether it is around climate change, food security, transnational crime, the proliferation of weapons, just to name a few. as we did this, we recognized that we needed to build a 21st-
century platform for this relationship. those of you who are real brazilianists and can remember when we had consulates in many cities, along with our embassy in rio de janeiro and our consulates, over time, that has shrunk down to an embassy in brazil and consulate general's in são paulo. that structure, having consulates on the coast and an embassy in brasilia is like having a consulate in cleveland. it doesn't work. the president's decision to authorize us to open or reopen
consulates in two cities was an important step in expanding our presence on the ground and tapping into a very large, passive population of potential visitors to the united states who had not been able to travel because they were unwilling to travel to the coast or to brasilia to look for the says. it also expands our commercial investment our reach. it is my hope over time that we will be able to expand our presence even further and build back the kind of geographic presence that we need to address a country of continental proportions. another important component of our 21st-century platform is
rebuilding our cadre of brazil experts. brazil was a centerpiece of our hemispheric diplomacy for a long time. because of the consulates we had in the region and the u.s. presence, we had a large number of portuguese speakers who knew the country, knew it well, and served there for several iterations, and who we could call upon to help understand what was happening in brazil. through the 1980's and 1990's, and through attrition, that changed. much of our hemispheric policy became spanish-speaking focused. because of the decline in usaid presence, the exit of the peace corps and the decline in our geographic presence, we began to lose our portuguese language expertise and brazilian language expertise.
that has all changed. it has changed because of the enormous demand for visas. we have hundreds of young officers who have done their first and second tours there. we are replicating what we had several decades ago and i think this is going to be important for our diplomacy because it will create familiarity with brazil and an understanding of how we need to deal with brazil over time. we remain convinced that the united states and brazil continues to build a strategic partnerships.
what can either country get from each other? how things change with a strategic partnership is the transactional nature remains to a certain extent, but why it is strategic, both countries work together to shape, and understandings of the world. this can only be done through the kind of dialogue that we keep building over time. unfortunately, the decision by both presidents to postpone the october state visit was the product of the snowdon disclosures. it has created a challenge to build this type of strategic partnership because it has interrupted a dialogue that was nascent, but of growing
importance. i believe we can recover that moment and that we have to recover that moment. it would be for the benefit of both countries, not just our governments and state positions, but more important for our own citizens. we need to understand how brasilia investing in the united states and brazil investing in the u.s. and how we can enrich the lives of our citizens and how it has relevancy to the daily lives of our citizens. that will make it unique in our larger diplomatic efforts in the hemisphere. it will underscore the importance of our diplomacy. we have engaged with brazil in several levels. we engaged technically, with our intelligence community, led by james clapper. meeting to address their
concerns about the disclosures. there was also a political engagement in which the minister of justice traveled to the united states to meet with u.s. officials, including the vice president of the united states. there have been several conversations and meetings between president rousseff and president obama as they try to sketch out a pathway forward out of this challenge in the larger relationship. the white house released the results of the presidential review group that was investigating the impact of technology on information intelligence gathering. that is the first step towards a larger review of how the united states does use intelligence and will form the basis to reengage with the brazilians and make our
own suggestions on the best way forward in that relationship. the brazilians have waited with a certain expectation to what we are going to be able to offer them and how we are going to be able to move forward in the aftermath of the disclosures. we do not have a clear pathway yet, but we will. we will look at the recommendations that have been issued by the review group at this point. i don't have a whole lot more to say in that regard because this is a work in progress. united states and brazil have worked in international forums. resolutions related to
disclosures have been presented. the united states and brazil, along with other partners interested in things like internet governance, priavacy as a human rights, and the role of espionage, we have been able to fashion texts that the united states has joined consensus on. this is an important step. it realizes that both of our governments have the capability of understanding the concerns of the other and addressing them with a larger environment. just yesterday, the un's general assembly voted on a resolution out of the third committee in which we were able to join consensus.
that is a positive sign. we are also appreciative of the way the brazilian government has handled the recent communication of edward snowden to the brazilian people and his effort to solicit asylum from brazil. their response is noted and welcomed by the united states. it is evident that what the snowden disclosures have done, aside from creating a level of pause at one part of our relationship, we have found, both among us and brazilian businesses, is a hunger to continue our engagement and to continue to look for ways to fashion a more fluid and
productive business and investment relationship between the two countries. in this regard, i think we have a lot to work from. we continue to see a huge flow of brazilian students to the united states, which will continue to have a big impact on american universities, especially american graduate programs. the influx of brazilian students will be the largest influx of students from the western hemisphere that we have seen so far in the 21st century. in that sense, i think the impact of brazilian students on american universities and graduate programs is going to continue to be large. as i indicated earlier, the visa demand has not slacked off. it grows at an important rate. it creates an urgency for both governments to find a way to address the problems and the
questions raised by the snowden disclosures. this is what we are committed to. we are committed to a larger relationship with brazil that understands we occupy different places in the world and we have different sets of interests, but ultimately we are committed to interests that are similar and compatible. as we think about the u.s.- brazil relationship, it is worthwhile to take a step back and understand how it fits in a larger international environment. many of you are familiar with the phrase "the long war" where it was said that while we might walk away from our enemies, our enemies will not walk away from us. i would argue that although the united states still faces significant security challenges around the world, while we still have enemies that will pursue us
wherever we are, we are in a different kind of environment, and given what we have seen with the rise of china and india, the insertion of these giant societies into international economies, the emergence of countries such as brazil, turkey, south africa, mexico, and indonesia, and the emergence of these societies as drivers of foreign policy and diplomacy, we are at a point where we need to understand our future well-being is about building partnerships and alliances. this will require a new focus and new energy in our diplomacy. while the long war might be present for us, we have the immediacy of a long diplomacy.
that will require us to rethink how we engage in the world and the kind of partnerships we want to build. in this regard, i think you can be a bellwether. for many reasons that i have described here, but it is also important to understand that brazil has emerged into a world through its soft power and is a part of a larger network of countries that are calling on reform and renewal of international institutions at a time in which there has been no cataclysmic events that forces us into reforming or renewing these institutions. the institutions are increasingly less capable of the addressing the larger problems that the world faces, so our ability to reestablish momentum in the u.s.-brazil relationship
and to ensure it gets back on a meaningful track that both of our governments and societies want, that will have a big impact on our ability to conduct this kind of diplomacy. ultimately, many years from now, much of what we consider to be important will not be seen as important. much of what occupies our every day will fall away and become the dust of history. what will be remembered and judged by historians is our ability to accommodate these rising powers, to transform and renew the institutions that we have created over time, to be responsive to the larger challenges that the world faces, and to do so in ways that promote international peace and security, but also promote prosperity and the ability for
individuals to determine their individual destiny. this means not only opportunities and resources, but an environment in which each of us is respected. i believe the united states and brazil, because of our broad commitment to democratic values to human rights, to open society, we are in a unique lace to do this. there is an urgency for us to recapture the direction and purpose of our relationship and i hope you all share this. i would like to end there, reminding ourselves that this is the 100 anniversary of a scientific expedition to brazil. it was captured in the book "the river of doubt." i have a picture on the floor
deck of a vessel as it debarked and began their land track to the river of doubt. it is a remarkable photograph. he is dressed in navy whites with white shoes and his hair is slicked back. erect, head back, chest out, he is proud. roosevelt was dressed in camping clothes, with his hat off, hair messed up, glasses slightly awry and slightly scrunched and looking at the camera as if he was wondering what was happening. it was a remarkable moment in the sense that it captured a proud and successful man with a roosevelt who had seen and done much and had much more to do in his life. what was striking about the trip
was to have two men of large egos and purpose in such close quarters for so long and to have them travel down the river with no hope of coming out alive at the end, just in anticipation or expectation that they were on a historic journey that would identify a source of the amazon and accomplish something that was going to be important to brazil in the world, it was remarkable. in many ways, this is an image for a larger u.s.-brazil relationship. friendship, courage, and purpose can accomplish a lot in this world. thank you very much. [applause] >> now for the conversational part of this. i would like to tell those who are following this on the
webcast or on c-span, you can send us questions if you wish. it is through our twitter account. @brazilinstitute. just before i open for questions, to complete the story that ambassador shannon just mentioned about roosevelt, that river, the river of doubt during the trip was renamed the roosevelt river. the locals refer to it as the theodoro. we call people by their first names. i would like to invite questions for ambassador shannon. i would like you to identify yourselves, wait for the
microphone, so he knows who is asking the question. >> my name is bill. it is a pleasure to see you again. you mentioned, and i agree, the future and past has been determined by the society. in order for that to continue, don't we have to convince our society, in relationship to the security issues, that we are willing and will modify surveillance so that can be transmitted to brazil? in brazil, politicians represent the society. we have to convince them. do we have to convince the society of brazil first, and of course there is a good section
in the media that is skeptical -- how do you envision us going about that? that is my question. >> one of the challenges of democratic societies is to create space for the kind of dialogue that we have to have now. that is one of the reasons the president decided to name a presidential review group, to look at intelligence gathering and the impact of information technology on the 21st century. we had to have a space where people could talk about this publicly. one of the challenges with issues of intelligence gathering is much of it cannot be talked about publicly.
i think the presidential review group has done a good service in laying out a universe of options for the united states that will serve as a basis for a larger conversation. as far as brazil is concerned, we have a lot of work to do. as do the brazilians themselves. that is going to have to take place at a variety of levels at the same time. some will be done between leaders, diplomats, intelligence officers, but some will be done more broadly and in the public sphere. one of the opportunities that has been presented to us is an ability to engage with our public about intelligence work in the 21st century. and understand what information technology means for us.
if you look at the disclosures issue closely, what you have is a mapping of 21st century technology and a mapping of the internet. you have a recognition that the way we communicate is changing fundamental understandings that we have about things like privacy and individual agency and our own behavior. much of this is not related to intelligence agencies at all. it is related to large companies and how they use bulk data and metadata and how they predict and try to influence how consumers behave. in many ways, we have been offered a window into this century and it will allow us to make some fundamental decisions about how intelligence is gathered, and how we want to structure information in our communities and societies.
>> can i add a couple of observations from my visit last week, meeting with the business leaders and several congressmen, including an influential senator of the president's party. this is not a representative sampling, but the basic theme was, we would like to get on with it, get past this. i think within thought leaders and influential parts of brazil, there is a desire to move on with the relationship in a constructive manner. this particular senator had been a part of the delegation that came and met with the vice president biden and he was pretty warm about it, including biden, where he said i grew up
with two precepts, never trust anyone over 70, and don't trust washington politicians. i would like to ask you to trust me and violate both of those. the kind of exchange that a brazilian politician could welcome. there is also an interest in, a great challenge and opportunity for collaboration in the evolving scheme of governance of the internet that brazil and the u.s. could be, should be, and probably are prepared to cooperate on. >> thank you. >> hi. the u.s. government has said that it is ready to discuss a new date for the brazilian president to visit the u.s.
have you received any sign from the brazilian side that they are ready to discuss and how likely is it that the visit will happen at the beginning of next year? considering your engagement and involvement with brazil, have you personally experienced the problems? how frustrated were you with what happened? yesterday we had a concrete example of the consequences with the decision of the brazilian government. how did you see that? >> i had the pleasure of beginning my tenure with wikileaks and ending it with snowden. [laughter] what i tell people is we have seen the enemy and he is us.
diplomacy and representing a country like the united states is not about personal experience. it is about a responsibility and a duty, not only in this regard to president obama and the government, but more broadly to the people of the united states of america. it is an honor and privilege and we try to do the best we can. i have deep affection for brazil and for brazilians. i am deeply committed to the u.s.-brazil relationship and building the kind of partnership i talked about. finding myself in a situation in which we were going to have to slow down what we were doing diplomatically, or look for other ways to express this
partnership, it was frustrating at one level, but at the same time, these are challenges we relish because it allows us to show what we are capable of and it tests our conceptual understanding of relationships. it allows us to expand the context of our diplomatic activity. in terms of the decision yesterday, related to the fx2. congratulations to the brazilian air force. this is something they have wanted for a long time. even now, it is coming too late, but it is an important step for the brazilian air force. we are disappointed. boeing did tremendous work in brazil, and it will continue to do tremendous work.
this will not affect the kind of cooperation that we have developed over time with the brazilian air force. as i noted, we have seen clear signs from the brazilian government that it is prepared to engage with us in a meaningful way on issues related to disclosures. whether it be in international settings, such as unesco, the un's general assembly, but also its response to snowden's request for asylum. i feel good about where we are right now. this is an ongoing discussion we are having.
we have made it very clear that we are prepared to reschedule. i think our conversation with the brazilians have to right i think our conversation with the brazilians have to right them a little bit before we get a response from them. >> hello, ambassador shannon. i think your opening address and comments have made an effort to answer the question that i'm going to ask you again. i think if we go back, i would like to ask you, how do you address the skeptics in this town? some of them are here, some of them are floating about. who would point to the going back, before your tenure, then to the reaction to the nsa -- the 2010 tehran agreement,
then the reaction to the nsa ,isclosures, which germany german reaction was greeted with perhaps greater understanding than perhaps brazil. even now, perhaps to this choice around boeing. i think we still have a tendency in this town and some of the bureaucracies on regional issues , a tendency to understand brazil and brazil's reaction to us as kind of a knee-jerk anti- american reaction. , even pointing to brazil's action on trade issues, protectionism issues, there is a long list of issues that are still pointed to as proof that the united states really can have the kind of strategic partnership with brazil that you have advocated for so at deftly. haveguess i would like to
you address that skepticism had on -- head on an even address issues i didn't mention in latin america, pointed to as a place where the united states can't have brazil as a partner for reasons of how brazil advances its interest. i would like you to poke holes in those arguments, if you could, please. thank you. >> thank you very much. listen, as we build this relationship, and relationships obviously are between at least and sometimeso more, there are skeptics on both .ides and skeptics beyond for all the reasons you described. been people who tend to view brazil in a south american context. and tended to view it as a country that has behaved differently than many of our partners, that has different
kinds of ambitions. and that is sometimes viewed as attempting to limit and frustrated our influence and presence, especially in south america. on the brazilian side, there have been skeptics who wonder sometimes quite loudly about the value of brazil attaching itself to closely to a country like the united states because of what they perceive is the asymmetry in power and interests, especially the global reach of the united states and the extent to which result finds itself sucked into our wake and is forced to participate in things or act in a way that it does not feel are in its best interests over time. a part of our challenge has been to address those skeptics and reshape understandings of the relationship. there is a certain degree of truth on both sides.
and our interests at times due clash, and our ambitions sometimes work at cross purposes. but that, as jane harman noted at the very beginning, the convergent parts of the relationship are more important than the divergent parts. we have to be able to manage those parts of the relationship that are problematic while we try to build and expand those parts of the relationship that function well. and in many ways, the reason i talked a bit about the long diplomacy is because this is really the challenge of diplomacy. the larger challenge we are going to face with brazil. if we are -- what we are looking for in brazil, a country that is at allo follow our lead times, and the brazilians are looking for in us a country prepared to meet its every need when it comes to market access interests it is
pursuing, then both sides are going to be disappointed. the relationship is going to be trouble some. but if we are able to understand through building common understanding in the world where we can work together in a meaningful fashion, then i think there is a lot we can do. a productive, fruitful, and positive relationship and growth. i think it needs to be taken advantage of. thank you. nelson cunningham. in my 20 years of daily and weekly engagement with brazil, i know that in this room is a flash in the pan, there is no i found who explained brazil better to the united states and the united states better to brazil than our moderator. i don't know if the rules permit this, but given that we have heard time shannon's tour de force, the u.s. side of this,
could i ask a moderator, what will it take from the brazilian side for us to put this disclosure issue behind us? >> i think it is a recognition in brazil of the importance of the relationship. you can see it from the business community, that feels that somewhats in a sense isolated itself in the trade arena. this is daily news in brazil. a national conversation in brazil, very much so. , of the the president national cap -- confederation of industries, addressing this directly. close to president dilma rousseff. to the personse
who is likely to run for the governor of the state, who is now the minister of development and commerce in brazil. you have this and the signals that they won more and more engagement with the united states. , youthink that is where know, this will appear in a debate in brazil. especially, i think, in a presidential election year in brazil next year. it will be interesting. i personally would love if the candidates all have the capacity to engage in this debate in terms of brazil's presence in the world. he wasng that i thought going to mention, but he didn't, and i will -- you have an increasing number of brazilian companies, global companies. there are about 30 of them.
important inare the united states. they become real connectors between brazil and the united states. one well-known company that has five subsidiaries in the united states. they are here because this is a big market, but this is also a place of innovation. i wanted to just remember something president dilma rousseff said exactly one year ago in her last interview of 2012. she was asked about this business of the fiscal cliff that the united states was going down. not manage their fiscal affairs and govern themselves. she said, i don't believe that the united states is losing importance in the world. quote, as ist a read this so many times. then she said, the united states
ana country with extraordinarily flexible economy , with a great capacity to reinvent itself. -- united states is moving is the country of innovation and is something that she says, value very much, and we have to pay attention to. she repeated four times the word "education." there is a debate in the united states about the quality of education, but those are the topics now. what it requires, what will happen -- it takes leadership. it takes leadership here. it takes leadership there, too, to amkmake those interests. but this is completely out of order because i am not supposed to be saying any of this. >> thank you.
ambassador shannon, it is a pleasure to have you with us. it is also -- always such a pleasure to hear you talk. you give such a coherent presentation, and i know that you choose your words very carefully. this phrase address of the disclosure problem, which you referred to repeatedly. probably being one of the only people in the room that has sued the u.s. government for warrantless wiretapping, and having suits rejected by the supreme court on the grounds that we could not prove standing nearly two months before the which leadslosures, one to continually wonder if we could have proved standing two months later, i think choosing the phrase "the disclosure problem" makes it seem less serious and i think it really is. and not just on a human rights level and a right to
privacy, on a commercial level, the lyrical level. it fundamentally has to do with trust. there is, and i understand it is corporate as well as domestic. i would like to hear you respond to that. i think it discounts the seriousness of what is happening. the second thing, with respect to education and the number of brazilian students coming here to the united states, which is enormous, how is it going from the u.s. to brazil? i have a sense that it is much less, but i don't know the numbers. could you talk about that, and what you see in the future on that side? >> i will get to the last one first. i don't have the exact figures. but i think it is going to change over time. to begin with, historically when americans have done overseas stints it has been
focused on europe, the u.k., spain, italy, with some france thrown in. we see more going to mexico, to argentina. it is our hope, especially as we build out our component of education in america, 100,000 strong, that we will be able to begin to build a larger u.s. presence in brazilian universities. in order to do that successfully , we need the help of brazilian universities, because many brazilian universities are not equipped to take international students easily. dormitories,ve they don't have international student programs, so it tends to fall the student to find a place etc.ve, a support network, some young students are able to do that. others are not. others want a more package deal.
there are a few brazilian universities that are beginning to understand this and are beginning to try to fashion mechanisms that will allow them to attract foreign students more easily. not just from the united states, but from elsewhere. one of the things we hope to be able to do overtime with the science without borders program is use what is really a student exchange program to build relationships between and solutions, between universities and to use that to facilitate the movement of faculty and the movement of services and to break down the closed shop nature of universities, especially when it comes to things like credits and degrees so that they can be shared easily. it is our hope over time to take a program, which is about exchanging students, and use it to build relationships between our educational systems and our laboratories and research institutes that are going to
provide a much more vigorous and productive relationship for both countries. in terms of disclosure problems, challenges, crises, outrage, i choose my words carefully. we could call it something else. you could call it treason. >> that focuses on snowden. >> i agree. what i want to be able to do here is recognize the seriousness of the issue, recognize the impact it has had on the relationship and on brazil's understanding of that relationship, but put it into a context in which it does not overwhelm the relationship, because i do not think it should.
imagery is different i talk to the foreign ministry and it said he said it cast a dark shadow on the relationship. others have used words like trust and respect. we are going to have to address all of that in some fashion. the brazil end of this has been exaggerated for political purposes, not by brazilians themselves, but by snowden's handlers. much has been taken out of context. ultimately, we are in a position with the brazilians because of this, to rethink our liaison relationships. that is something brazil does poorly right now. largely because of their own -- anal history and that
recognition that brazil does not have an intelligence relationship that matches its global ambitions. in order to do that, it needs to build liaison relationships with global intelligence services that are capable of helping it do the kinds of things and provide the kinds of services to its own government that ultimately it is going to need. brazil is in a privileged place right now. it largely does not have external enemies. it does have adversaries and people who are interested in what is happening inside brazil. the subject and the object of cyber assaults everyday. brazilians know this. they are looking for ways to build capacity as they build out their economy. it is our hope that they will recognize that they have a
useful partner in us and that they need to see be on their own immediate concerns caused by snowden to build out that partnership, especially as they look to work towards the world cup and the olympics. noted, and you acknowledge, this is much bigger than intelligence issues. this is how modern society manages the data flowing through our telecommunication systems. it is going to require a response, or at least a thought process that is much larger than the one we have going right now. >> alec watson. thank you very much for a brilliant exposition earlier on. it was anticipated a little bit, what i would like to ask you about.
with brazil's starting to feel a little isolated in international commerce with the formation of the pacific alliance, others, the comments by the cni president in denver reflect some of that. on the other hand, the brazilians seem to be still participationir and by certain kinds of barriers within their own still quite protectionist society to be able to make a breakthrough on trade issues. they have been talking to the eu for many years and have not gotten very far. yet i think that is one of the points that will be most important for strengthening the overall bilateral relationship between us and brazilians. i wonder if you could say a few words about that. >> we want more trade and more investment. that is why brazil is one of the focuses of the president's
national export initiative. one of the focuses of the initiative. we are prepared to go to great lengths to achieve that. , as tonyeartening mentioned, is the very strong push from large industrial confederations like cni on the bilateral trade relationship and trying to find ways to overcome aspects of brazilian trade and commerce that have limited our ability to penetrate certain markets. in this regard, the negotiations that are ongoing between brazil and the european union are an interesting beltway. -- bellwether. it is increasingly clear to brazilians that they have large opportunities in europe, but they are being held back for a variety of reasons. some of them are domestic and
some of them are related to the american relationship. we are not asking anyone to abandon their alliances or trading structures. a relationship between resilient -- brazil and the european union could put someone in a position where you could imagine triangulation as the united states builds its transatlantic trade partnership, triangulating into south america, or into the free-trade agreements that exist , or the kinds of agreements one might fashion with brazil, would be a very interesting possibility. would think would create a fascinating grouping of markets as we look across into africa and also into asia. but brazil has come a long way in a fairly short time. when i was there the first time around, from 1989 to 1992, the
thought that brazil would be the home of major global companies and it would be a growing investor in the united states and that a company would have numerous subsidiaries operating in the united states and that another company would be a major supplier of regional aircraft did not cross many people's minds. in a short time, they have covered a lot of ground. they have a lot more ground to cover. >> i was recently at the council of foreign relations council in new york where the minister of development was speaking. he said something meaningful to me and i think i will repeat it here. it helps with the context. he said brazil, over the past 30 years or so, faced and basically
built a consensus over three major challenges. the first was democracy, followed by the challenge around economic stabilization. the consensus in brazil, do not try inflation on brazilians because you will lose. and the third is social inclusion. brazil has achieved a lot with the expansion of the middle class. the minister added, now is the time to face the challenge of competitiveness. the other name of it is the challenge of making the brazilian economy a more open economy. you cannot deal with competitiveness in a closed economy, as you cannot resolve innovation issues and become more innovative in a closed economy. i wanted to add this because it is relevant to the conversation. >> my question is related to
what he was talking about. >> how does the recent increase -- decrease in gdp and increase in economic concern affect the relationship you have come to talk to us about and understand? >> it is indicative of the changes going on in brazil and challenges brazil faces. if you look at what brazil have been able to accomplish, it has done a lot of this on a consumer-driven growth model. that model has run its course. brazil now needs to build a growth model that is based on productivity and competitiveness. as you look out over the brazilian landscape, what is
striking to me is that the challenges the brazilian economy faces are several. the biggest and most pressing is infrastructure. how do you build the ports, the highways, the railways and the telecommunications systems to move goods and services? how do you do it in a timely fashion? brazil is the second-largest food exporter in the world. but it still cannot get all its product and market or to port or to the foreign destinations that would happily buy brazilian products. it has huge infrastructure needs that have to be addressed. it has significant human resource needs that need to be addressed. as it builds up the managerial corps there is a worker
that needs to be fashioned in a 21st century economy. its labor regime, its tax structures or the other regulations that determine how you start businesses and how you close businesses. these are not problems that are hidden or known. -- unknown. brazilians understand this well. advanced dialogue and how to address them. the human resources are easiest to involve because they involve investment. the regulatory drag is the hardest because it is political. it involves taking on significant entrenched interests within brazilian society. in some ways, the president has inherited the toughest part of brazil's economic transformation. the previous brazilian president cleared the space for a long-
term positive growth path. the next president was able to inject capital into the system so that brazilians could take advantage of that long-term growth path and profit from it and drive growth rates that were quite high. the current president took over this model just as a wall. -- just as it was hitting a wall. it is up to her to find a new way to address the challenges in the brazilian economy. in many ways, her challenge is probably the toughest of the three. but the good thing is as brazil has worked through these different parts of its economic development, it has globalized and become aware of what is happening elsewhere in the world. so i do think that brazil is up
to these challenges. the question is how fast. in this regard, brazil is uniquely positioned. are for a few countries in the world his economic well- being is entirely in their own hands. for the most part that is true , for brazil. the decision it makes on infrastructure, education and regulatory reform will determine how fast it grows. if it makes the right decisions quickly, it rose faster and grows faster and stronger. if it makes no more slowly, it will not. the thing is, it doesn't stop growing. it continues to attract american investors and american business leaders. >> this side of the room. >> i am a former representative uruguay to the
organization of american states. ambassador shannon mentioned a couple times of a u.n. resolution. privacyight of digital related to human rights. how do you see the implementation of a solution, and is -- it is something brazil has fought a lot for. will it have a direct impact in the actual state of the relationship? noted, we join consensus on the which means we are fine , with it. the reason we were able to join consensus is that the original text opposed by the initial conveners or those who altered includingd the text, brazil, had to change some aspects of the text to broadly address our concerns. we recognize, as the resolution does, the importance of privacy and the importance of an
internet, which is seen as a global public good and one that that needs to be protected. u.n. resolutions, these are designed to capture a sense of the members of the u.n. and to help provide direction. but they are not binding. rarely do they have aspects to them that are implemented. arethat does not mean they not important, because they capture a political moment, and a purpose that needs to be understood and respected, and we just think the fact that we were able to work with our other partners, but also with brazil to fashion a text that we could accept was important, and i think it shows that whatever brazil's intentions might have been starting that process, it
recognized early on it was not going to achieve everything it wanted to in that process and it had to make concessions that actually created a better environment for the kind of dialogue we are having. >> cindy? >> thanks. i am with the latin american program here. thank you very much for your remarks. my question has to do with brazil's relationship with other countries in the hemisphere whether it be south america or more broadly. we have worked on some of this together. there is broad respect for the strength of the brazilian economy and what brazil has accomplished in terms of democracy. there is less willingness to cede leadership in the hemisphere -- to see leadership in the hemisphere. you see any number of xamples.
the opposition to having brazil have a permanent seat on the security council. the reaction to the position brazil took to the human rights system. in your time as ambassador, could you comment on how you perceive brazil's leadership being perceived in other parts of the region? >> that is a great question. my own experience -- >> that is a great question. brazil tries to be careful in terms of how it deals with its neighbors, largely because he ecognizes that it's bigger ambitions are expressed through salek, but especially uniscor. it has to be managed with respect and understanding for
the concerns of other countries. it tries to present itself not as a hegemonic force but as a coalescing force in the region. this is not easy when you're as they cast brazil. resilience like to point out that even border on france --brazilians like to point out even border on france. it is a complicated diplomatic dance and is made more complicated by the relationships and the trade challenges that brazil faces with argentina because they tend to overload some of the circuits in the structures that they have. but the resilience work very hard at this. - but the brazilians work very ard at this.
the efforts from our point of view are positive, whether it is in central america or the caribbean community. these are all efforts that facilitate dialogue and xchanges that -- for the broader hemisphere. but the biggest impediment to a brazil that dominates south america is largely its inability to open its markets. if brazil could open its markets, the andean countries never would have done free-trade agreements with the united states, or least not with the speed that they did them. they would have done agreements with brazil. when the mexicans realize they have been organized of latin america and they were not part of the caribbean community, and they launch their own initiative, that was all about putting themselves back into the egion. the most interesting diplomatic
ove of recent times has been mexico's joined the pacific alliance. that put mexico into south merica in a way that i think many never anticipated and created the possibility of a connected series of free markets along the pacific coast, all facing asia, without a u.s. presence or driving purpose that think ultimately would be challenge is the wrong word because brazil tends to embrace challenges. i do not think this is a challenge to brazil so much as it is something that it has to understand and address in a way that reflects the concerns of the members of the alliance. > yes.
>> my name is steve and i'm here on behalf of the u.s. travel association and want to thank you for your opening remarks about booming demand in both directions for both business travel and leisure travel. and in that context i think it hould be mentioned how commendable it is the enormous effort the and this he -- embassy has done to bring down enormous delays in wait times for brazilian applicants for .s. visas. those wait times are down over 90% and it makes a big ifference. that demand we all hope and expect will continue to rise. the question of the visa waiver program. as you are aware, the first south american country will be
admitted to the program this spring. a year and half ago after as press was in her zeal -- in brazil, state departments were stablished to set up so-called roadmaps pre-discussions knowing that the conditions are not yet in place for an actual agreement but to lay the groundwork. it is not clear to many of us were that all stands, particularly after october. i wonder in the spirit of looking forward and consensus that you have described here, described what the path forward may be there. >> sure. happy to do that. as we try to understand the demographics in brazil and what has been driving this demand is surging these is -- visa, the
growth in the middle class was seen as one of the reasons why we were seeing such a sharp rise. as we look at the issue were closing, we realized that really wasn't true. many of the new middle class and trends when not traveling to the united states. they were still traveling inside brazil. we were seeing increased travel but upper-middle-class. because they had more disposable income and they had developed an interest in travel. even though we had to run really hard in order to fashion a visa process that reduced wait times down to two days and accommodate the many brazilians traveling to the united states, we recognize that there is a new group of entrance into the middle class that have yet to attempt to travel to the united states but hat they are coming.
it is kind of like a rogue wave out there. it is in the middle of the ocean and not stopping. through expanding our consular sections and the number of officers we have in building out the interview windows we have, we are building a capacity to produce 1.8 million to 2 million visas a year. i personally do not think that is enough, if this rogue wave keeps coming at us. if the brazilian economy takes up in terms of growth and people can consolidate themselves and that is where the visa program becomes important. both countries have to keep working at it.
there was hesitancy to address the visa waiver program. their experience in spain and portugal has not been a happy one. that people turned around at orts of entry. that they have to turn around and go back and the resilience were looking for assurances that they would not repeat the experience is in lisbon and madrid -- the brazilians were looking for assurances that they would not have repeat experiences in lisbon and adrid. is not that we ask for information about travelers. we do want governments to give us a thumbs up or a thumbs down, whether they are at risk or not.
and this is very hard for the brazilians to do legally. it requires them to dig through databases that are not easily connected right now. but secondly, to share risk assessments that they doubt they are legally allowed to do. we think there is a way forward on this and we think we can solve these problems. it is going to take some hard work on both sides. we think there is some urgency to it. >> i am getting there. >> thanks. i work with many multinationals that operate in brazil and for them the cost of doing business is quite high. a lot of the cheap credit is available and another measure is
no in the local tax regime and where to set up local roduction. which way does the u.s. plan to advocate for these u.s. based multinationals? the return investment is not like a five- or seven-year time frame. >> it is not just people coming in from the outside. one of the striking things is they will land american companies if they are based in razil. without a doubt, there is an overhang in the economy that needs to be addressed to promote not just brazilian companies from helping generate increased growth but also the growing presence of global companies and global investors. and some of this has to do with the legal costs and the records were costs. we have a very large foreign
commercial presence in brazil and a very skilled one that operates out of all of our and disease and is prepared to help all american countries that are interested. many of the multinationals come down with their own resources and can manage their way through a lot of this. but many companies are coming in fresh. we are seeing with companies to come down with state delegations but by governors is a great interest in selling into the market are being present but little understanding about how to do it. that is where we can play an important role. we can try to look for brazilian partners. ultimately brazil is a country where the extent to which you have brazilian partners working with you will make it a lot easier. the advice we give to american companies when they come down is
first and foremost take on the dictum that brazil is not for beginners, that it is a complex and conductivity country and in many's ways -- many ways it is like an archaeological dig. navigating that can be challenging for some businesses. but also, brazil does not for sure timers. it is not for people who are going to come in and come out. it is for people who are prepared to make a long-term commitment, simply because it does take a long time to establish yourself and to find a way forward. we believe even the direction that brazil is going and given the platform that it could be for exports into the region and beyond, it is attracted to american industries.
but again, we have clear instructions from the president and from the secretary of state and the secretary of commerce, that our number one is commercial diplomacy. this was my priority. i'm sure it is the priority of the new ambassador to brazil. iowa recommend that you work for closely with the embassy and our consulates because we'll provide all the help we can. >> paul johnson. thank you so much. always a pleasure to hear you alk. we have heard over the years about opportunities for trilateral cooperation between the united states and rozelle and africa -- and brazil and sub-saharan africa. what are the prospects for some of the meat on the bones in terms of financing and trade investment, industries like
agriculture, infrastructure, health. i just wanted to hear if thoughts on that. thank you. >> no, thank you. t is great seeing you. there are lots of possibilities. we began our trilateral cooperation in an effort to eradicate malaria but have extended that to mozambique, where we're doing some important work on the agricultural productivity side. we are working with the brazilian in honduras and haiti on some other projects. this is brand-new for us and for the brazilian. working through their brazilian cooperation agency has been an interesting and fruitful experience. it is a small agency.
it is staffed largely --brazil does not have the hydrant of professionals that one would imagine in that kind of an agency but it is building them over time. we have created an interesting relationship where we have exchange officers. as we try to get a better feel for how both sides work and where there might be synergies and connections. and we are interested and excited about extending that possibility. we think that brazil has some really interesting things to offer. countries in africa and elsewhere. brazil does have some legal restraint or constraints on how far it goes in this kind of cooperation, especially related to how moneys flow back and forth between the government and
abc and how it does its development assistance abroad and in some cases it is aid that is paying for brazilian services in some of these countries. but we think over time as brazil built out its programs, it is oing to begin removing these barriers or streamlining them in a way in which abc and the brazilian government can do more. than has been discussions about joint financing of projects, especially where there is a u.s. and a brazilian partner. it is competent to a certain extent by rules and regulations. we continue to try to find a way forward on that because the potential is huge. >> i might just add that outside the private sector and
government gates foundation has engaged with the brazilian government and ministry of agriculture, abc in an ambitious program to send retired, distinguished agricultural scientists, economists to help with small farms, the development of small farms and arm practices in africa. very promising effort. >> thank you. argaret. >> thank you very much. i was one of those brazilianistas that was brought up a long time ago. when i first went to brazil in the 1970's, one of the points of attrition between the united tates and brazil was a nuclear
question. you mentioned the kerfuffle with iran with the lula administration. have we gotten over that previous, that last irritation and is the treaty for the south american countries possibly a odel for the kind of weapons nonproliferation regime that we are looking at in the middle east and other areas? is this an area where we might see more cooperation? >> we are way over iran. e got over that one pretty quickly, actually. i think that brazil has been a very useful partner. brazil has never been happy with sanctioned regimes but it complies with them faithfully.
but more importantly, i think especially under resident rousseff, the brazilian made clear that iran had a lot of explaining to do and if it wanted normal relationships would have to be respectful of un security council resolutions and the desire expressed repeatedly by the security council and elsewhere that iran address the concerns related to its nuclear program. brazil has been supportive publicly most recently of the agreement that they were able to fashion with iran. i think brazil sees this as a ositive development. that is helpful. in that regard i think we are in a very good place right now. the latin american experience
around nuclear liberation and especially the agreement between brazil and argentina to create kind of mutual verification capabilities was an innovative and important agreement and one that could be useful as we look at how we manage verification regimes elsewhere. but i think ultimately the challenge we will face whether in iran or north korea is really will be about verification and in that regard, oddly enough this is where intelligence is going to play an important role, because what we have seen over time is that especially in the nonproliferation side, intelligence is central to how we do our verification mark.
much of it can be done publicly and by inspectors, not all that an be. as we think about the issues raised by mr. snowden, we need to understand that not all is about spying in our countries. much of it has to do with supporting larger international agreements. >> right there, yes. >> i am with georgetown university law center. thank you for your talk but even more so for taking so many questions. have two questions. if you could shed some light on
why president obama apologized to angela merkel but not for the spying. and secondly, jesters have worked extremely well for the pope, for example, and president putin is considering reportedly a pardon for the pussy riot girls and the arctic sunrise crew. would you consider recommending to the government a pardon for snowden given that he is such a thorn in our relations with so many countries but particularly brazil? >> thank you for both of those questions. when these issues first appeared and especially when the allegations of head of government surveillance appeared, we treated the
brazilian in the same way we treated the germans, which is quite remarkable given whatever allegations were out there. and the brazilian understood this and i think appreciated in the wrong way because it was indicative of the importance of the relationship. our intelligence relationships with those countries are quite different. germany has much more equity in our intelligence community then brazil does, especially with troops participating in isaf. much of the protection comes from u.s. sources. i do not want to get into characterizing the conversation that president obama had with the chancellor. i will leave that to the white house. the germans have characterized that in one fashion and i am not
sure the white house would agree with that. but what is important is that there has been communication several times between president obama and president rousseff about this and there will be communication about this in the future that addresses that specific issue. and so i think that given the circumstances, we are probably in as good a position we can be in terms of how we do our engagement in our country to country engagement. in terms of unexpected actions,, this was race briefly in a "go minutes -- "60 minutes" piece on the nsa. i think it is clear what the white house as said, but especially what the department of justice has said, that you should not expect an unexpected jester -- gesture.
>> let me collect a few questions because we are coming to an end. we have two and then that is it. >> mr. ambassador, hi. i have served twice in brazil with u.s. aid. you talk about bilateral cooperation and talk about trilevel and you mentioned the opportunities in education and we have had major successes from the early 1970's with brazil, linking american and brazilian universities. they have come back and now they are running those institutions in agriculture and health and other areas. you alluded to agriculture. i'm wondering about energy and environment. what opportunities for bilateral cooperation do you see?
>> let's move to the next question. es, there. >> i am with the house ways and means committee. in bali, we saw a great success led by a brazilian inspector general. right before that success was singed, it looked as though some of the wto players would be the reason for the failure of the ali discussions. to what degree coming out of bali do you think that brazil's view of its own specifically trade leadership is changing from one in which it is a leader of the developing world to one in which it is a broker of some sort between the developing world and the developed world?
>> let's come here. let's start with this. >> human rights watch. thank you very much for your remarks. you mentioned that you hope to build up constructive relationship with brazil, promoting common values like democracy and human rights. what makes you feel hopeful that kind can be effectively developed in our region, and particularly in south america, here a group of countries that i do not think they share the same views and the same values in terms of promoting democracy and human rights. it is critical that brazil plays a more effective role.
how do you see that role developing in terms of working together constructively with the u.s. government in south america? >> thank you. and the last question, please. >> hi. i don't think you have time to answer my question. i will pose a perhaps as a comment. it has been wonderful to hear your remarks on a wide range of subjects. brazil is a continental country. i was wanting to ask if you could comment on some of the tensions within the country that come along with improvements in social inclusion and growth and improvements in economic well-being across the country instead of treating brazil as a single country that is doing remarkable things. what is happening in the different regions that have different opportunities? >> ok.
thank you. all good questions. we have done something remarkable with our aid mission in brazil. it was on the chopping blocks, as it has been several times in our history. we were able to convince our colleagues in washington and elsewhere that now was the time to move from and aid mission to one that was a policy engagement mission. the idea being as brazil's economy expands, that we needed to be there working with them on a daily basis with the hope of helping to influence and shape how they did assistance work so that it was more compatible with what we were trying to accomplish, recognizing other major economies out there have a different understanding in what foreign assistance is. and so far the dialogue has been
really positive. we have been able to fashion a third country assistance programs where we are able to share expertise and funding in order to accomplish common goals, and i think if we are able to do this right, it could create a new kind of development assistance diplomacy that we could deploy in other countries that have emerging or strong economies that are playing an increasingly important role in subregions. we have pulled back on some of our historical roles in brazil, and our program today is focused on biodiversity issues and climate change issues. we have a few alternative energy programs, but this does not represent the future of our
developed assistance program. however, it does represent the future of our commercial engagement, our investment engagement, which strikes me to degree to which pharmaceutical companies are prepared to come to brazil and do agreements with brazilian companies to build out a capacity for brazilian pharmaceutical companies. this is driven by the emerging middle class and that the demand for high-quality health care in brazil. i think the synergies are there, just moving from the developing world into the commercial and investment world. regarding the wto and bali, congratulations to the person who managed that event for the wto. it was in everybody's interests that the bali event was successful, because having failed at this time would not
have been in anyone's best interests. especially with acevedo at its head, there was a special need to play as much of a role of broker as they could. historically, brazil has had the kind of negotiations with two mentalities. one is trying to get the best deal possible. that is not going to work, trying to assert leadership in some fashion and use the event as a way to assert leadership. but i think in this regard they recognize that they could do both. they could act as a leader of a particular group of countries while at the same time brokering. i think they found a way to bridge that divide. with any luck they will be able to maintain that over time. in terms of human rights, a great question. it is one of the big struggles that brazil faces as it tries to find a way to express through
its foreign policy what it means to be a democracy in the region and the world. historically, brazil has been an adherent to principles of nonintervention and non- interference and self- determination of peoples and has been reluctant to criticize countries. this is because at one level it does not believe it should, but it also recognizes it is quite open to criticism. it does not want to open the door for reciprocal attacks and wants to build a protection, especially within inside regional and institutional organizations. i do not think that is a stance that it will be able to maintain in the long term because as brazil globalizes, as its society mobilizes, brazilians will wonder what it means to be a democracy in the world and how does brazil express that
democracy. and the fact that internally you have got such a strong commitment to an open society, such a strong commitment to individual rights, is a very positive thing to work from. this is going to be an evolutionary process over time and one we cannot give up on. we have to keep focused and pushing on it. with regard to the tensions within the country, brazil is a huge country, that of all the colonial entities that were established in the region, it is the only one that has held together. i am sure there is all kinds of linguistic and cultural reasons for that and demographic reasons for it, but although it is a big country and a diverse country in terms of its linguistics and its accents and its traditions and the ethnicity of its immigrants,
at the same time there's something that makes everyone a brazilian. that in many ways is what is remarkable about brazil and all the -- even today, people in the southern part of brazil will be dismissive of the northern part of result and vice versa. one can find the same thing in the united states. i think what is remarkable about brazil is that like the united states it is able through its diversity that it can present an image of itself that everybody can understand, everybody knows they are brazilians. >> thank you. i would like to remind you of something which this was the last event of our program this year, and i'm grateful to
ambassador shannon and the others for being here and have helped participate in this. this sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the assassination of chico mendez. chico mendez was not known in brazil when he was killed. today mendez is honored in brazil at the national institute for studies, policymaking in the amazon, one of the 26 national heroes of brazil named by the brazilian congress. we have associated ourselves to a group of institutions that will host a memorial service this sunday at 4:00 at holy name catholic church on 11th street, the announcement on our website,
and i hope that those that are interested can join us there. with that, i would like to thank ambassador shannon very much for being here with us, and i would like to thank you for having been with us throughout this year that is closing now. we are very grateful to you. i wanted to recognize especially two people that have been working with me, michael who was here yesterday, and annika cardenas, who is also working with us. thank you very much. happy new year. and please, i would like to recognize and with gratitude the
presence of ambassador thomas shannon here today. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> coming up on c-span, defense secretary chuck hagel in a pentagon briefing. then, efforts to curb corruption. later, the afl-cio president.
first, let me wish all of you and your families a happy holiday. i know you probably won't be sorry to escape for a while, those of you who are. i know news is made all the time everywhere, so you never get too far from anything. but have a wonderful holiday with your families. as you all know, this year in 2013, it has been a challenging year for the department of defense. and for all the people who represent this institution all over the world, civilians and military, and their families. but as we head into 2014, i think we are beginning to turn the page on prolonged fiscal uncertainty. the budget deal that passed congress yesterday provides some relief from the devastating cuts for sequestration in fiscal year 2014 and 2015 for the dod.
it gives a predict ability for those two years. the senate is scheduled to vote, as you all know, tonight on the defense authorization act, which contains provisions to strengthen assault issues. it is a step in the right direction for us, and i expressed my support last week for that resolution. i had the opportunity to talk with a number of members of congress on the resolution and why was important for us. but even with this agreement, this budget agreement, dod still faces very to gold budget decisions. the budget agreement reduces the
$52 billion sequestration fiscal cut in fiscal year 2014 by roughly $20 billion, and provides about $10 billion in fiscal relief in 2015. we will use those funds to restore spending on readiness. we will also work to rope -- to minimize disruption to our most critical modernization efforts. the budget agreement passed yesterday caps on defense spending over two years at about $70 billion less than the president's budget request. this year, strategic choices in management review, which i directed in april and may, that review has given us a baseline to work from as we set defense spending priorities for the years ahead. we will continue to press ahead with our efforts to cut dod's overhead and infrastructure costs, improving our acquisitions enterprise, and continue to make the tough choices on the force structure. we also recognize we can no longer put off military
compensation reform. dod's leadership, chairman dempsey, the service chiefs, the service secretaries, and myself, we all know that we need to slow cost growth in military compensation. otherwise, we will have to make disproportionate cuts to military readiness and modernization. dod cannot sustain these current programs as they are structured. we will work with congress to bring the rate of growth in our compensation and benefits programs in line with budget limitations in fiscal reality -- and fiscal realities. we know that many proposals can change military compensation and will be unpopular. one example is the budget agreement that slows the rate of growth and cost-of-living adjustments for working age
military retirees. going forward, i strongly support senator levin's efforts to root review the -- to review the provisions in the senate armed services committee, and to take a comprehensive view over all of compensation programs, a comprehensive look at military compensation reform. we need to review all options for achieving necessary savings and we will work closely with congress on this issue. tough decisions will have to be made on compensation. the leadership that dod is prepared to engage the congress in achieving compensation reform. but any changes to cost-of- living adjustments should not apply to medically disabled retirees. these retirees need to be exempted from the changes in the budget agreement just passed by congress. in addition to the budget, and dod's future structure, dod's leaders and i will continue to
focus on afghanistan as we complete our combat role there and bring this war to an end. general dempsey have -- and i have just returned from visiting the troops in afghanistan. some of you know, because you are with us. these troops, the men and women who serve this country and afghanistan, continue to perform magnificently under very challenging conditions. a loss of six u.s. troops in a helicopter crash on tuesday is a heartbreaking reminder of the sacrifices they continue to make . our thoughts and prayers go out to their families. we have a responsibility to all those who serve in afghanistan today, and all who have sacrificed their for more than 12 years. especially those who gave their lives and limbs, and to their families. what role america and its allies will continue to play in afghanistan after 2014 must be clearly defined, and clearly
defined very soon. a ladder -- a bilateral agreement between afghanistan and the united states must be signed promptly. it must be signed probably in order for the u.s. and its allies to plan and preserve options for the post-2014 presence. the retrograde of personnel and equipment from afghanistan is a complex undertaking. that undertaking is being executed carefully and responsibly. and it will continue to be a top priority. continuing challenges within our ground lines of communication in pakistan is just one example of the need to gain certainty now regarding our post-2014 presence. you all know we live in a complicated and uncertain world. however we do know there will be difficult challenges ahead, and that our men and women in uniform will need to be prepared , prepared to successfully engage these new challenges.
preparing our men and women who serve this -- this country and in this institution is one of the highest response abilities of dod leadership. chairman dempsey and i and all of our leaders take that commitment very seriously. we will continue to be focused on the preparedness of these men and women. thank you. again, happy holidays. i know chairman dempsey has some thoughts, and then we will be glad to take your questions. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i would like to add my wishes to all of you for a happy holiday for you and your family. on the budget, many of you have heard me say for some time that there are three things we really need in order to manage the financial affairs of the department and the military. they are, certainty, time, and flex ability. the bipartisan budget agreement gives us a little bit of each of those. it is a welcome event here at
the end of 2013. and in so doing, it will allow us to address most of our near- term readiness challenges and restore some readiness that we had lost over the past year and a half or so. we still need, as the secretary mentioned, to strap on the challenges of institutional reform, paid compensation, and health care changes, and acquisition reform. and we will do so. first, the remaining sequestration still lurks on the horizon beyond these two years. some of the four structure changes, for structure reduction -- force structure changes, force structure reductions will be based on that time. i hope the time we have bought for ourselves will encourage the continued discussion, a debate and understanding about what full sequestration would do to the military forces of the united states. that is where we are on the
budget. i just spent eight days on travel with the uso visiting nine locations throughout afghanistan and europe. i would like to take this opportunity to remind us collectively that when we talk about soldiers, sailors ash sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardsmen, it is not just those serving in afghanistan. we have about 250,000 or so men and women in uniform deployed at any given holiday timeframe. i want to make sure that i wish their families a peaceful and calm and happy holiday season as their loved ones are forward deployed all over the world, doing what the nation asks them to do. i also want to complement the seven remarkable and unselfish performers and athletes who joined me on the tour, as they do every year, by the way, in
order to say thank you and to learn more about what those young men and women do. both of us are better for the experience, and i want to complement the uso for assisting and arranging that. this trip reinforced my pride and confidence in how we continue to perform in his 12th year of conflict in afghanistan. we do ask much of our men and women in uniform and we will continue to do that. and as the secretary noted, the loss of those six soldiers in helicopter crash in afghanistan should remind us of the dangerous nature of our work, and how important it is that we remember and continue to care for them and their families. another reminder on the trip occurred when i was able to pin two purple hearts onto special operating forces, who had been ambition while advising and assisting their afghan partners on a patrol in afghanistan.
it is also worth noting that those soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen are not alone in their deployment. we shoulder the burden with allies with partners -- with allies, with partners, and with civilians. my final reminder here at the end of 2013 is that we remain a nation at war and we owe it to those who are committed to those conflicts to continue to provide them with not only the resources they need, but the support they need. and during this holiday season we want to assure them and their families that we will remember we've got young men and women doing what the country asks all over the globe. i thank you for your support, interest, and enthusiasm throughout the year. we look forward to 2014. and i wish all of you a happy holidays. >> you mention both pakistan and afghanistan in your opening comments.
i have a short question for you on both of those things. on pakistan, you mentioned the suspension of movement through the overland supply routes. is this reaching a point where you will now have to assume a much greater expense to get the material out on time? and my second question about afghanistan is, periodically over this year, there have been reports of afghan security forces cutting cease-fire deals locally with the taliban here and there. in fact, this week there is a report about this happening in helmand province, where it had gotten to the point it seems that they had turned over a checkpoint to the taliban. i wonder if you see these developments as accelerating in the coming year as the further -- as the u.s. further withdraws . do you see it as a benign development, or possibly a development that will cause problems in the future and give
the taliban more influence? >> well, i will begin, and i know chairman deb -- chairman dempsey has taught. on pakistan, as you well know, general dunford was just there this week. he met with senior leaders, including the new chief among why net with when i was there, the chief of the pakistani army. as many of you know, because you are with become i also brought this issue up with the prime minister of pakistan. when general dunford was there, he brought it up again with the pakistan forces to assure we get that date back open. but the bigger issue, will he to general dunford this morning, we had a long closed circuit video conference with him yesterday, which we do once a week. i asked him on every one of these occasions when we talk where we are on the retrograde.
you're actually ahead of schedule on the retrograde. we have a long way to go. a lot of equipment to move out yet, but this is an issue that is high on the priority list, as high as any we all have, to make sure we stay on track. i think it was admiral kirby or someone who once told me that logistics is about options. and it always is. we have options to the north. we have another route to the south. we do use air now, but as we know, air is more expensive. we are still moving on a couple of other ground lines. torque him has been closed, as was noted in your reporting. we are continuing to focus on this and get it back open. we have other options and will will continue -- we will continue to keep those options in play. on afghanistan, i am aware of
the most recent relationship that may be you alluded to. i do not have the specifics on it. i was general dempsey. maybe he knows more of those areas, not just the specific specific question you asked, but the more general question about the future and whether this is what they will have to continue to do. first of all, these are not new. these issues have come up and there have been cooperative efforts over the years in these different areas with different groups. that is not new. but i think, and i will ask general dempsey to see if he has more specifics on it -- and general dunford and i talked about this when i was in afghanistan. i went out to some of the bases, and some of you were with me on that occasion.
and marty was just there. the afghan national army is doing a tremendous job to assure the security and do the things that they needed for their country, as well as our partnership with the isaf partners there. some of these get down into the tactical elements of command and how they deal with these things at the local level. let me ask marty if he's got anything. >> inc. you, mr. secretary. i think you have explain the issue -- thank you, mr. secretary. i think you have explain the issue with the lines of indication with pakistan very well. we do have a lot of options. it is the finest logistics architecture in the world, that is to say, the department of defense and united states military. we will get it done. we will arrange with our pakistani partners, but it won't affect the way we operate, nor the way we retrograde. in afghanistan, you ask whether this is a malign or a benign
trend. i think if it spread, if it affected the upcoming elections in any way, it could become a line. it is somewhat ridiculed, by the way, as the secretary said. -- predictable, by the way, as the secretary said. what hangs in the balance, the longer the bsa is under -- unresolved, is the confidence of the people is sagging. they are questioning whether we are actually going to be there for them and continue to loud bnsf to do so -- develop so it can counter -- to allow the nsf to develop so i can counter the taliban's efforts. if you wanted reasons for it to be signed soon, there is one. >> [indiscernible] >> are you asking me for a redline? i'm not going to give you that. [laughter]
>> nato said yesterday or the day before that it had to be done by spring. as you just said with logistics, we will get it done. why can't it wait? >> i just described why he cannot wait. the afghan security forces are capable of overcoming, and in most cases, overwhelming their taliban competitors for control of afghanistan. they have some systemic problem, -- logistics, intelligence, signals, transportation -- that we are working with them to knit together into something that you would recognize as an institution, not just a bunch of individual units. but they are not confident yet. they have only been at this by themselves for about a year. think of what they have facing them in the first half of 2014. a political transition.
a political transition. then it will take some time for them to seek their government and have it functioning. if there is a single shortcoming right now, it is confidence. and bsa will give them confidence. i can say that with great certainty. >> that is a very important point. it should not go undervalued here. everything works off of confidence. markets work off confidence. we all work off confidence. but in in addition to that, for us -- i spent a lot of time, as marty did, as well as general dunford when we were there. every day that goes by that we do not have that certainty of what the role is and what the defined mission and defined resources required are, you are taking options away from the