More information about Brazil is available on the Brazil Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States and Brazil have traditionally enjoyed cooperative, active relations encompassing a broad political and economic agenda. The United States was the first country to recognize Brazil's independence from Portugal in 1822, and as the two largest democracies and economies in the Western Hemisphere, the United States and Brazil are currently consolidating a foundation for a new partnership for the 21st century with a focus on global issues that affect both countries. Ten bilateral agreements signed in March 2011 and five more signed in April 2012 testify to an intensification of bilateral engagement in a broad range of areas of mutual interest. The United States and Brazil have 20 active dialogues at the assistant secretary-level or above, half led by the Department of State. Four dialogues are presidential level: the Global Partnership Dialogue, the Economic and Financial Dialogue, the Strategic Energy Dialogue, and the Defense Cooperation Dialogue. Formal intergovernmental dialogues engage multiple U.S. and Brazilian agencies on issues including bilateral and multilateral issues, economics, trade, finance, agriculture, energy, aviation, technology, innovation, the environment, education, culture, defense, and nonproliferation. These dialogues are the primary vehicles for policy coordination and for defining partnership priorities.
Bilateral relations are complemented by people-to-people initiatives and trilateral and multilateral cooperation. The United States and Brazil’s long history of exchange in education is one example; the bi-national Fulbright Commission was established in 1957, and thousands of scholars have traveled between the two countries. Education cooperation continues to thrive as the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative and the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program create opportunities for new academic and research partnerships. EducationUSA centers around helping Brazil advise students on study in the United States and host events to assist U.S. higher education institutions recruit Brazilian students. The United States is also working closely with Brazilian counterparts to expand opportunities for English language learning and professional development for Brazilian teachers. These exchanges strengthen U.S. and Brazilian institutional partnerships, develop a workforce prepared for 21st century opportunities, and contribute to long-term economic growth for both countries.
The United States and Brazil share a commitment to combat discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) status; to advance gender equality; to fight exploitative child and forced labor; and to promote human rights. The U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality, the first bilateral instrument that targets racism, and the U.S.-Brazil Memorandum of Understanding on the Advancement of Women provide platforms for cooperation to combat racial discrimination and women’s empowerment broadly, and to share best practices in tackling discrimination in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), education, law enforcement, labor, health, gender-based violence, economic empowerment, and many other areas. Multilateral cooperation and collaboration at the United Nations and Organization of American States has also proven effective in the promotion of LGBT human rights.
The United States and Brazil also partner on trilateral cooperation in third countries, particularly in support of biofuels and agricultural development, food security, health, and women’s rights. Successful programs include joint technical cooperation and training in support of trilateral development programs in Mozambique in agricultural research and technology and food security, with plans to extend this cooperation to additional countries in Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean. Multilaterally, the power of U.S.-Brazil collaboration is evidenced by the success of the Open Government Partnership, a multi-country initiative to foster transparency launched and co-chaired in its inaugural year by the United States and Brazil.
U.S. Assistance to Brazil
The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Brazil are committed to forging a strong partnership that promotes development in other countries, principally in Africa and the Western Hemisphere. Innovative trilateral collaboration will prioritize transnational challenges that are of mutual interest, including food security, health, the environment, agriculture, and economic development. USAID is concluding its bilateral support to prevent and control tuberculosis, support HIV/AIDS prevention, promote clean energy technologies in Brazil, and mitigate climate change. Ongoing programs continue to preserve natural ecosystems, and foster sustainable forest management. Through public-private partnerships, USAID is helping develop basic workplace skills and expand access to English language training for disadvantaged youth, and foster corporate social responsibility goals and projects conducted by U.S. companies operating in Brazil.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Economic relations between Brazil and the United States are steadily increasing. Mechanisms that improve the movement of goods and people between the United States and Brazil, increase business opportunities, and foster in-depth dialogue on leading bilateral, regional, and global economic and financial issues include:
Brazil is the world’s seventh largest economy and the United States’ eighth-largest merchandise trading partner. Two way trade in 2012 was a record $76 billion. The United States had a record $11.6 billion trade surplus with Brazil in 2012 representing the sixth highest surplus market for the United States. Brazil’s main imports from the United States are machinery, chemicals, aircraft/spacecraft, and computer and electronic products. Brazilian tourism to the United States is at an all-time high, comprising the sixth largest group of visitors to the United States. Nearly 1.8 million Brazilian visitors contributed $9.3 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012, a figure that is expected to grow steadily in coming years.
The United States is Brazil’s second largest export market. The United States is the leading foreign investor in Brazil, with an accumulated foreign direct investment stock in 2012 of $79 billion. Brazilian investment in the United States has grown rapidly. In 2012, Brazil was named one of ten countries for the SelectUSA pilot program to attract foreign investment to the United States. As the world’s largest biofuels producers, the United States and Brazil have worked together to help make sustainable biofuels a global commodity.
Brazil's Membership in International Organizations
Brazil and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, Inter-American Development Bank, G-20, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Brazil has also traditionally been a leader in the inter-American community, and is a member of the sub-regional Mercosur and UNASUR groups.
Brazil maintains an embassy in the United States at 3006 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-238-2700).
More information about Brazil is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Brazil Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Brazil Page
U.S. Embassy: Brazil
USAID Brazil Page
History of U.S. Relations With Brazil
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information