Obama: I’m going to Brazil to promote exports

posted at 10:55 am on March 18, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

With criticism of Barack Obama’s Latin America tour already rising in the current context of budget impasses and crises in Japan and North Africa, the President himself defends his trip in the pages of USA Today.  Obama says he’s going to Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador in a bid to boost American exports and create American jobs, but that prompts a question on one missing stop from his itinerary:

Nearly 600 million people live in Latin America. The region’s economy grew by about 6% last year. Between 2010 and 2015, it’s expected to grow by one-third. And as these markets are growing, so is their demand for goods and services — goods and services that, as president, I want to see made in the United States of America.

Every $1 billion we export supports more than 5,000 jobs here at home. That’s why last year, I set a goal for this country: to double our exports of goods and services by 2014. And we are on track to meet this goal: exports were up 17% in 2010.

The impressive growth that we’ve seen in Latin America in recent years is good for the people of the hemisphere, and it’s good for us. Thanks in part to our trade agreements across the region, we now export three times as much to Latin America as we do to China, and our exports to the region — which are growing faster than our exports to the rest of the world — will soon support more than 2 million jobs here in the United States.

First, few would begrudge any President an international tour in general.  That’s part of the job.  In the US, the President occupies both practical and ceremonial roles as head of state which are usually split in most parliamentary systems.

However, the timing is very suspect.  As mentioned above, the federal government is now six months late with its budget, and its deficit exceeds 10% of America’s GDP.  Those are both crises which demand presidential involvement, if not leadership, and instead Obama wants to go on tour.  Also, with the UN resolution approving a no-fly zone, shouldn’t the Commander in Chief be in town to oversee the advent of American military action, assuming that the momentary cease-fire in Libya doesn’t moot the effort?  The beginning of hostilities is a strange time for a President to be taking off for a business trip.

But even putting that aside, if boosting exports is the idea, then where is Colombia on the tour?  We could boost exports if Obama would press for ratification of the free-trade agreement signed in November 2006 — an agreement that largely benefits the US, as Colombia already exports to the US without tariffs now, thanks to incentives offered for drug interdiction.  Almost two years ago, Obama promised to push for ratification, but hasn’t done anything since to back up that pledge.  Tellingly, Obama doesn’t even bother to mention Colombia in this essay, despite its staunch support for American interests in the southern hemisphere and its action against drug cartels that have put its officeholders at considerable personal risk.

Even while heading out of town, it seems that Obama finds ways to avoid leadership.


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I hope he is being exported.

WoosterOh on March 18, 2011 at 10:56 AM

I,I, I……

cmsinaz on March 18, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Obama: I’m going to Brazil to promote exports

After he promotes himself, of course.

If it’s all business, why is he taking the family sight-seeing?

When the going gets touch, Scooter gets going…outta town.

kingsjester on March 18, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Almost two years ago, Obama promised to push for ratification, but hasn’t done anything since to back up that pledge. Tellingly, Obama doesn’t even bother to mention Colombia in this essay, despite its staunch support for American interests in the southern hemisphere and its action against drug cartels that have put its officeholders at considerable personal risk.

Geez Ed, don’t you understand that it takes a full year to figure out your NCAA bracket? And then once it’s done and the tournament is over — well then you’ve got to evaluate recruiting classes, who’s leaving for the NBA, coaching & assistant coaching changes. A president has to know how to prioritize.

rbj on March 18, 2011 at 11:00 AM

I begrudge this president an(other) “international tour,” Ed.

What positive results for the United States have come from any of Osama Obama’s crushingly expensive wanderings?

None.

When we have a Congress that is on near-perpetual vacation, a SecState promising that we will “help” (with lots of our money) improve the job situation in Tunisia and a C-in-C whose sole interest seems to lie in palling around with tin-pot Third World tyrants and other enemies/not-friends of the USA, something is very, very wrong.

MrScribbler on March 18, 2011 at 11:01 AM

He’s going to Brazil to shore up Soros’ deal with Petrobras.

BowHuntingTexas on March 18, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Obama is trying to get as many stamps in his passport before being thrown out of office in ’12.

portlandon on March 18, 2011 at 11:03 AM

A perfect example of what a dunce he is, especially with respect to foreign policy! El Salvador? Chile and Brazil are OK, but we have a serious friend in Columbia, a country that with our help has made tremendous strides in winning the fight against the drug cartel and FARC!

It’s more than embarrassing, it’s a shame!

tomshup on March 18, 2011 at 11:03 AM

I’m sure he’ll have about as much success on this trip as he did trying to get the Olympics to come to Chicago.

UltimateBob on March 18, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Let’s hope those ‘exports’ don’t include AK-47s.

Limerick on March 18, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Spring break in Rio…

d1carter on March 18, 2011 at 11:04 AM

I’m going to Brazil to promote exports

“Yeah! That’s the ticket!”

Fallon on March 18, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Waygu beef suppliers in DC hardest hit during Toonces absence.

Joe Mama on March 18, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Even while heading out of town, it seems that Obama finds ways to avoid leadership

y’know, it’d be a lot easier to be president of china, Hu Jintao doesn’t have all this dissent in Tahrir Square n’ such./

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 11:06 AM

do experts include guns with comfy shoes doin’ some walkin’ heading to latin america?

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 11:07 AM

er..experts= expOrts…duh, losing

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Speaking of Rio…Knuck really loves this song.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 18, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Still picking winners and losers. Sorry Columbia, you a loser this week.

MJZZZ on March 18, 2011 at 11:08 AM

d1carter: Didn’t meant to start my comment out the same way you started yours out.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 18, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Didn’t he cancel an int’l trip during the health care bill debate??

kringeesmom on March 18, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Obama: I love Brazians

faraway on March 18, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Is there something “we” need to apologize for down there? Cindi Lauper singing in an airport, maybe?

Caper29 on March 18, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Copacobana Obama will just continue to export jobs to Brazil. His stupid moratorium sent stalled deep water drilling rigs to Brazil months ago. When the rigs left, thousands of Gulf jobs went with them.

Obama loves Petrobas, as does his benefactor, Georgie Soros. Obama sent a bunch of our money to Support Brazil’s oil industry … Where Soros is a huge investor.

Obama will be promoting more US jobs being exported.

marybel on March 18, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Here is a must-read I found on Ace’s sidebar. Obama:Weakest President in History?

The author is a Bush-hater and whines about America’s obsession with cars and oil, but really lays into Obama. The koolaid tastes pretty bitter to this one.

Mord on March 18, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Also, with the UN resolution approving a no-fly zone, shouldn’t the Commander in Chief be in town to oversee the advent of American military action, assuming that the momentary cease-fire in Libya doesn’t moot the effort? The beginning of hostilities is a strange time for a President to be taking off for a business trip.

CLINTON SAYS NOT AT ALL CLEAR IF LIBYA CEASFIRE ANNOUNCEMENT BEING MATCHED BY ACTIONS ON GROUND

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 11:10 AM

I used to know how to spell Brazilian

faraway on March 18, 2011 at 11:11 AM

He’s still looking for a country that he really likes, that he can retire to someday.

RBMN on March 18, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Didn’t he cancel an int’l trip during the health care bill debate??

kringeesmom on March 18, 2011 at 11:09 AM

he did. Now he’s just getting caught back up again…/

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 11:11 AM

However, the timing is very suspect. As mentioned above, the federal government is now six months late with its budget, and its deficit exceeds 10% of America’s GDP.

I know this is getting old, but just imagine the volume of the outcry from the MSM if Bush had done this. It would rival dual F-18′s, five feet from each ear. Today…silence.

SKYFOX on March 18, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Will the first family visit a favela or two to really imbibe Rio?

cyclown on March 18, 2011 at 11:12 AM

I used to know how to spell Brazilian

faraway on March 18, 2011 at 11:11 AM

And I hear they also speak Brazilian there….
/Obama

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 11:12 AM

But even putting that aside, if boosting exports is the idea, then where is Colombia on the tour?

Nowhere, because the Colombians would demand a definitive answer on the treaty and Obama would be expected to take responsibility for it. That would require courage and a willingness to be accountable for a decision. Obama possesses neither of those characteristics.

RadClown on March 18, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Even while heading out of town, it seems that Obama finds ways to avoid leadership.

Business as usual.

GarandFan on March 18, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Bullcrap! I don’t take my wife and children on business trips.

cat-scratch on March 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

I used to know how to spell Brazilian

faraway on March 18, 2011 at 11:11 AM

And I hear they also speak Brazilian there….
/Obama

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 11:12 AM

My blog-dad(when I had a blog) is from Brazil.
Came here LEGALLY at age 6, retired from the Air Force, HATES Obama.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Did Columbia… like… oppress his granddad or third cousin on his dad’s side? Does Michelle think Juan Valdez is a racist? There’s got to be more to the story.

Sugar Land on March 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Please, the timing has EVERYTHING to do with it being spring break for the Obama princesses.

lizzieillinois on March 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Maybe he can take his MS-13 supporters back to El Salvador.

JammieWearingFool on March 18, 2011 at 11:17 AM

There’s got to be more to the story.

Sugar Land on March 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

It is a stealth dietary fact finding tour. Michelle is looking for magic rainforest skinny kid food.

Limerick on March 18, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Please, the timing has EVERYTHING to do with it being spring break for the Obama princesses.

lizzieillinois on March 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

The girls didn’t chose their parents.
Until they’re old-enough to vote…they should be off-limits.
That includes snarky comments.
Yes-I felt the same way when Chelsea Clinton was a kid.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Time for everyone to write their Congress critters and get Columbia in the news.

Cindy Munford on March 18, 2011 at 11:20 AM

But Columbia doesn’t have Rio! Why would he want to go there for spring break?

Even with his ‘present’ voting record, could anyone ever have envisioned having such an absentee presodent?

michaelo on March 18, 2011 at 11:21 AM

*president*

michaelo on March 18, 2011 at 11:21 AM

There’s got to be more to the story.

Sugar Land on March 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

I’m going to Brazil to promote exports (of oil that I gave George Soros $2billion to develop Petrobras).

intents.

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 11:22 AM

And I hear they also speak Brazilian there….
/Obama

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Obama has been practicing his Spanish all month.. /s

Caper29 on March 18, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Ever notice the worst performer in a company is “always too busy” when you ask for anything…

Obama is “busy” avoiding responsibilities.

Odie1941 on March 18, 2011 at 11:24 AM

The Bangs Avenue School elected in 2010 to change its name to Barack H. Obama Elementary.

At the time that the school acquired its new name, administrators took a lot of flak for ostensibly focusing on the name change instead of the plight of its students. But the city resident behind the movement, Myra Campbell, believed it would “send a subliminal message” to the students.

“Every time they walk through the school doors, there’s going to be a certain amount of pride in where they go to school,” Campbell told the Star-Ledger in 2009. “We now move forward in trying what we can to improve the academic skills of the students and also the social skills.” At the time, another New Jersey school had already been renamed after the president.

every failure has a message. and a name.

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I hope President Piehole has learned a little Brazilian. That’s what they speak down there, you know.

Cicero43 on March 18, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Say… Does Brazil have an extradition treaty with us? He may see the writing on the wall and decide not to come back.

John Deaux on March 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

He does all the golfing to promote world peace.

catmman on March 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 11:23 AM

The problem is, he’s coming back.

kingsjester on March 18, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Obama promised to push for ratification, but hasn’t done anything since to back up that pledge.

..The unions are adamantly against this agreement.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704693104575638402644710436.html

There’s a reason for that. Under Obamanomics, exports are supposed to play the leading role in putting Americans back to work. This makes the Colombia deal good, because it would increase U.S. competitiveness in that South American country. But Big Labor is against free trade agreements and Mr. Obama needs Big Labor. That makes the Colombia deal bad

.

In the Obama administration….what the unions want trumps what is best for America.

However, the timing is very suspect. As mentioned above, the federal government is now six months late with its budget, and its deficit exceeds 10% of America’s GDP. Those are both crises which demand presidential involvement, if not leadership, and instead Obama wants to go on tour.


“Bill….can you take over for me here….I am late and Michelle is ready to go to Rio….”

Baxter Greene on March 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM

President Erkle…”please pass me another Mojito”…er…”and about that trade agreement”…

PatriotRider on March 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Who wants to bet me that FBHO tries to conjure up Teddy Roosevelt while speaking Brazilian to the Brazilians??

ted c on March 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Will Obama be able to watch college hoops? Does he own a Slingbox? Those are the important questions.

RadClown on March 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Obama: I’m going to Brazil to promote exports

Sure he is. Just like a guy says he only reads Playboy strictly for the articles.

Always loved commedian Rita Rudner’s reply to that: “And I only go to shopping malls for the music.”

pilamaye on March 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM

I hope President Piehole has learned a little Brazilian Portuguese. That’s what they speak down there, you know.

Cicero43 on March 18, 2011 at 11:25 AM

PatriotRider on March 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Sorry, but there is no Free Trade.
I’m all for having trade with other countries.
But the free trade mantra is some truly tiring BS.
And Brazilian beef is still not Hoof ‘n Mouth free.
See movie HUD for reference.

Badger40 on March 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Here’s the real reason Obama is going to Brazil: after China, Brazil is the fastest growing foreign holder of U.S. government-issued debt.

He’s likely hoping to foster good enough relations with Brazil so that their purchases of U.S.-government issued debt can either partially or fully offset a potential crisis in the bond markets that fund the U.S. government that China is already demonstrating that it can generate.

The only real question is whether or not Brazil’s leaders will get the full Hu Jintao treatment.

ironman on March 18, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Flashback – 2009
Obama Underwrites Offshore Drilling … in Brazil

faraway on March 18, 2011 at 11:32 AM

PatriotRider on March 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Thanks, Captain Obvious.

Cicero43 on March 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM

This guy is screwing off and wasting our money at an unprecedented rate. Whoever voted for this dolt should have their taxes doubled just to help pay for this charlatan’s antics.

rplat on March 18, 2011 at 11:34 AM

The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil’s Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro.

this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas.

faraway on March 18, 2011 at 11:34 AM

annoyinglittletwerp on March 18, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Haven’t heard that one in ages. Thanks for posting!

wi farmgirl on March 18, 2011 at 11:41 AM

The girls didn’t chose their parents.
Until they’re old-enough to vote…they should be off-limits.
That includes snarky comments.
Yes-I felt the same way when Chelsea Clinton was a kid.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

What about the Bush girls?

Palin’s kids?

David2.0 on March 18, 2011 at 11:41 AM

ironman on March 18, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Great points…thanks for the links.

Baxter Greene on March 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Why not go to Columbia and sign FTA? Two words: George Soros

eaglesdontflock on March 18, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Aren’t all of the countries he is visiting rum by a bunch of leftists?

DoS_Conservative on March 18, 2011 at 11:45 AM

this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas.

faraway on March 18, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Yes. How odd.
And yet, if a Republican admin was doing this, the media would demand blood.
This obvious bias is really getting old.
I wish people would WTF up about this POS POTUS.

Badger40 on March 18, 2011 at 11:46 AM

I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t find a way to slip over to Venezuela to hang with another of his favorite peeps.

stvnscott on March 18, 2011 at 11:47 AM

ObaMao and the Dems do not like Colombia because of its treatment of labor unions (which are probably fronts for communist organizations), and the crew in the WH is beholden to the ideology of the IWW.

onlineanalyst on March 18, 2011 at 12:01 PM

I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t find a way to slip over to Venezuela to hang with another of his favorite peeps.

stvnscott on March 18, 2011 at 11:47 AM

You mean to get another book from his buddy Chavez?

onlineanalyst on March 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Brazil and exports……oil drilling permit for Brazil in the Gulf coming right up. Soros will be so happy!

elclynn on March 18, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Must be a lot of fun going to Rio and Carnival, my senator Baucus the inbiber, went on a trade mission, too.

Kissmygrits on March 18, 2011 at 12:06 PM

The girls didn’t chose their parents.
Until they’re old-enough to vote…they should be off-limits.
That includes snarky comments.
Yes-I felt the same way when Chelsea Clinton was a kid.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

What about the Bush girls?

Palin’s kids?

David2.0 on March 18, 2011 at 11:41 AM

And you probably think Michelle’s Mom is just going as one expensive babysitter.

woogs on March 18, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Wasn’t it the leader of Brazil that said, “Capitalism is dead.” At least they will have something in common.

volsense on March 18, 2011 at 12:13 PM

He’s going to Brazil to shore up Soros’ deal with Petrobras.

BowHuntingTexas on March 18, 2011 at 11:02 AM

THREAD WINNER!

Khun Joe on March 18, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Fore!!

vcferlita on March 18, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I’m sure they will realize their mistake in time and reschedule da trip to Indiana

http://ugolfbrazil.com/

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

This administration is like Jersey Shore but with slightly better hair

roflmao

donabernathy on March 18, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Please, the timing has EVERYTHING to do with it being spring break for the Obama princesses.

lizzieillinois on March 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

The girls didn’t chose their parents.
Until they’re old-enough to vote…they should be off-limits.
That includes snarky comments.
Yes-I felt the same way when Chelsea Clinton was a kid.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

This is not that sort of thing. Nobody is criticizing the children. People are pointing out the timing.

And it is true, Sidwell Friends has its spring break from the 18th to the 28th.

Alana on March 18, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Sure, it’s a business trip. That’s why he’s taking along his daughters and the First Walrus.

Will he be flying the First Dog there on a separate plane?

petefrt on March 18, 2011 at 12:51 PM

The girls didn’t chose their parents.
Until they’re old-enough to vote…they should be off-limits.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

I keep telling myself that, and you’re right. It’s a damned shame and a disgrace that the media didn’t treat Jenna and Barbara Bush with the same respect.

It would be sweet if Sasha and Malia grew up to be conservatives… there’s about as much chance of that as there is of my winning the Miss America contest, but still! :-)

Mary in LA on March 18, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Perhaps Barry is just taking Michelle Antoinette down there for one of their famous “waxings.”

{{{{{shudder}}}}}

pain train on March 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Perhaps Barry is just taking Michelle Antoinette down there for one of their famous “waxings.”

{{{{{shudder}}}}}

pain train on March 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM

EEEEuuuuwww.

slickwillie2001 on March 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Obama: I’m going to Brazil to promote exports myself.

coldwarrior on March 18, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Tellingly, Obama doesn’t even bother to mention Colombia in this essay, despite its staunch support for American interests in the southern hemisphere

Well, there’s the reason, right there. If Columbia has been supporting US interests, then there’s obviously something wrong with them. /s

iurockhead on March 18, 2011 at 2:10 PM

It would be sweet if Sasha and Malia grew up to be conservatives… there’s about as much chance of that as there is of my winning the Miss America contest, but still! :-)

Mary in LA on March 18, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Aw I’d vote for ya!!! I do get a vote here, right?

runawayyyy on March 18, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Tellingly, Obama doesn’t even bother to mention Colombia in this essay

Or maybe it was just a Scarface moment?

iurockhead on March 18, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Perhaps Barry is just taking Michelle Antoinette down there for one of their famous “waxings.”

{{{{{shudder}}}}}

pain train on March 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Across the nation, a multitude of HotAir-sters just puked on their keyboards………….

Spreading the pain(train)

iurockhead on March 18, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Perhaps Barry is just taking Michelle Antoinette down there for one of their famous “waxings.”

{{{{{shudder}}}}}

pain train on March 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM

There is not enough bleach or metal brushes for that…you have lived up to your name, sir. :)

HornetSting on March 18, 2011 at 2:22 PM

I keep telling myself that, and you’re right. It’s a damned shame and a disgrace that the media didn’t treat Jenna and Barbara Bush with the same respect.

It would be sweet if Sasha and Malia grew up to be conservatives… there’s about as much chance of that as there is of my winning the Miss America contest, but still! :-)

Mary in LA on March 18, 2011 at 1:11 PM

I’ve been thinking along the same lines. loL
Btw: Yes-I was against the attacks on the Bush daughters and I think that If Bristol Palin says/does something stupid-she’s fair game. Her under-18 sisters and trig are NOT.
Track is serving his country.
You don’t knock our troops.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 18, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Aw I’d vote for ya!!! I do get a vote here, right?

runawayyyy on March 18, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Aw, thanks! You’re so sweet… but even if I were as hot as Heather Higginbottom (poor thing — what were her parents thinking?), I’d be DQed from the Miss America contest on the grounds that I’m not a Miss. ;-)

[happy Mrs. of a happy Mr. since 1999]

Mary in LA on March 18, 2011 at 2:44 PM

“I’m going to promote exports so I can have you fools pay for our extravagant trip”.

Too bad the carnival is over.

The clowns arrive late.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Exports of Brazil’s offshore oil that Obama backed?

malclave on March 18, 2011 at 5:53 PM