Brazil Closer To Boeing On Jets Deal After Biden Visit

By Brian Winter/Reuters

In Friday’s meeting, Rousseff first raised the jets deal and her concern over the transfers, officials said.

Biden did not make absolute promises about what Congress would do. But he did cite his more than three decades of experience in the Senate to address her worries point by point, the officials said.

“SEQUESTRATION” A FACTOR?

According to the officials’ account, Biden explained that Senate Democrats have never gone against Obama on strategic defense sales, while most Republicans take the lead from Arizona Senator John McCain, who has expressed support for the Brazil deal.

Biden said U.S. defense budget cuts could reduce opposition in Congress to a deal that could help a U.S. company.

He also cited examples showing Congress has blocked defense sales in strategically difficult parts of the world such as the Middle East, but not peaceful, overwhelmingly democratic areas such as South America.

Before the conversation turned to other matters, Rousseff thanked Biden for giving her “strong” arguments to use in Boeing’s favor, two of the officials said.

Asked to confirm the account, a White House official said: “We aren’t going to comment on private conversations, but in general the United States strongly supports Boeing’s bid.”


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