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Brazil may impose trade barriers against China


SAO PAULO, Brazil, Oct 4 (Reuters): Brazil may impose barriers to limit a surge of imports from China, Trade Minister Luiz Furlan said yesterday, stepping up pressure on the Chinese government to reach a negotiated settlement and avert a trade spat.
Brazilian trade officials went to Beijing last week to try and negotiate limits to textile imports that are pressuring local manufacturers.
But China, as one of the biggest buyers of lucrative Brazilian exports like soybeans and iron ore, has a powerful negotiating position and so far a deal has not been reached.
The Brazilian government's foreign trade council has already asked President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to introduce WTO laws that would allow trade barriers to be imposed.
Brazilian makers of shoes, clothing and toys say their domestic and foreign sales are being hurt by China's exchange rate policy, which undervalues the yuan.
But Brazil ran an $800 million trade surplus with China in the first eight months of this year thanks to booming exports of commodities. China-Brazil trade was $7.4 billion in the same period.