Almost unnoticed (almost) China has been quietly making provisions to avoid the three-way-conversion from local currency to dollars to yuan when dealing with Central and South American trading partners. This should lift eyebrows in the United States, but so far it hasn't. This might help:
China replaced the United States to become Brazil's biggest trading partner, said Brazil's Ministry of Development, Industry and Exterior Trade on Monday.
According to the trade balance released by the ministry, the sum of Brazil's exports and imports with China reached 3.2 billion U.S. dollars in April, over the 2.8 billion dollars in its trade with the U.S.
Trade Minister Welber Barral said the change was "historic," as the U.S. has been Brazil's biggest trading partner since the 1930s.
Though the trade pacts are being sold as a way to unfreeze trade during the global economic slump, but the arrangements could well be the beginning of a larger effort by China engage in a little trade partner swapping. China already has put in place a $10 billion currency swap with Argentina, as well as deals with Malaysia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Belarus, Indonesia just in the last five months.
Is anyone paying attention over at Treasury?
China surpasses U.S. to become Brazil's biggest trading partner [China View]