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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 13, 1998


Today's agreement between the International Monetary Fund and Brazil is an important step in our effort to deal effectively with the global financial crisis and protect American prosperity and jobs.

The United States has been working with our partners in the G-7 and the emerging markets on a set of specific actions to spur global growth. Last month, the world's leading economies agreed to support new IMF tools to help countries with sound economic policies ward off global financial crisis. Today, we are taking the first step to implement those ideas by putting Brazil in a position to confront the financial turmoil that threatens growth not only in emerging markets, but in economies around the world.

A strong Brazil is in America's interests, and President Cardoso has launched a solid program to tackle its fiscal problems that he has committed to implement swiftly. Under President Cardoso, Brazil has already embraced economic reform with the Real Plan and the support of the Brazilian people and the Brazilian Congress. Brazil has cut inflation from more than 2000 percent to single digits in less than four years, helped lift 13 million Brazilians above the poverty line, and achieved economic growth of four percent a year.

Brazil's prosperity is important for Americans. The United States is Brazil's largest single trading partner, and our exports to Brazil have more than doubled since 1992. A strong Brazil makes for a stronger United States, and today's announcement will help give both countries an opportunity to secure a brighter future.