President Bush has spoken by telephone with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to discuss the upcoming World Trade Organization ministerial talks in Hong Kong.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters Wednesday the two leaders agreed to keep the trade agenda moving forward and added they underscored the need for success.

The spokesman said Mr. Bush noted the Brazilian president's leadership in the trade talks process and thanked him for his hospitality during Mr. Bush's recent trip to Brazil.

Trade policy differences are a source of friction between Brazil and the United States. The tension has held up any progress on the U.S.-backed Free Trade Area of the Americas, which President Bush pushed during a western hemisphere summit in Argentina last month.

Some information for this report provided by AP.