While I sort of understand (but am not necessarily sympathetic to) where Richard Lugar is coming from, I’d suggest that Brazil’s expansion into markets and development of trade with partners outside of the U.S. is in no small part because Brazil’s efforts to engage in commerce with diverse foreign trading partners removes dependency on the U.S. and Europe when their markets suffer. It’s no coincidence that Brazil specifically, and South American countries more generally, entered periods of financial stability and success while the Bush administration generally ignored Latin America while it focused on other parts of the world. In other words, it’s not that the U.S. is losing the battle for Brazil; it’s that Brazil’s winning the battle for Brazil.
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