U.S. Relations With Brazil

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Fact Sheet
February 23, 2018

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 traditionally have enjoyed robust political and economic relations. The United States was the first country to recognize Brazil's independence in 1822. As the two largest democracies and economies in the Western Hemisphere, the United States and Brazil have a partnership that is rooted in a shared commitment to expand inclusive economic growth and prosperity, promote international peace and security and respect for human rights, and strengthen defense and security cooperation.

The United States and Brazil have a long history of deepening people-to-people ties through exchanges in education, energy, health, agriculture, science and technology, and innovation. Education cooperation continues to thrive with numerous initiatives for youth, educators, and professionals. For example, the bi-national Fulbright Commission, established in 1957, has supported study and research exchanges for thousands of scholars between the two countries. Education USA helps Brazilian university students access information and opportunities for study in the United States at its 34 centers throughout the country. The government of Brazil continues to invest in Post-initiated exchange programs such as the Professional Development of Public School English Language Teachers (PDPI) in the United States, and a considerable expansion in Brazil of the English Teaching Assistant Program. The two countries have extensive scientific exchanges at the individual researcher level, as well as bilateral collaborations with the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The two nations collaborate in weather monitoring, metrology and standards, environmental impact monitoring, an extensive range of public health efforts, and Brazil is home to the U.S. National Institute of Health’s (NIH) largest research portfolio in Latin America.

The United States and Brazil are working together on key global, multilateral, and regional issues. Brazilian space agency AEB is a member of NASA’s GLOBE science program, with 119 Brazilian schools participating in projects such as the GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Mapper (MHM) app that connects to the GLOBE database to help track mosquitoes that spread Zika and other diseases. The United States and Brazil are also advancing human rights issues in bilateral and multilateral fora. In addition to efforts to fight racial and ethnic discrimination, advance gender equality, and combat exploitative child and forced labor, the United States works with Brazil at the United Nations Human Rights Council to support the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons, and to defend freedom of expression and advocate for people with disabilities. The United States and Brazil are both committed to strengthening the multi-stakeholder approach to internet governance to preserve the benefits of an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable internet. The Department of Commerce co-hosted the first ever U.S.-Brazil Digital Economy Summit with the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP) in October 2017. To promote the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda Sustainable Development Goals, the United States and Brazil are collaborating on sustainable agriculture, food security, and nutrition.

The United States and Brazil are strengthening cooperation on defense issues, including research and development, technology security, and the acquisition and development of products and services. These agreements promote joint exercises and facilitate the sharing of sophisticated capabilities and technologies. In September 2016, U.S. and Brazilian officials inaugurated a bilateral Defense Industry Dialogue, designed to improve coordination with the private sector and facilitate trade in the defense industry. The Dialogue met again in Washington in October 2017. In addition, Brazil and the United States restarted their longstanding Disarmament and Nonproliferation Dialogue and Political Military Dialogue in September and October 2017, and signed a Master Information Exchange Agreement in March 2017 to facilitate research and development.

U.S.-Brazil Bilateral Economic Relations

Brazil is the world’s ninth-largest economy and the United States is Brazil’s second-largest trading partner. Two-way trade was $88.2 billion in 2016. The United States had a $22.3 billion trade surplus with Brazil in 2016. Brazil’s main imports from the United States are aircraft, machinery, petroleum products, electronics, and optical and medical instruments. The United States is Brazil’s second-largest export market. The primary products are crude oil, aircraft, iron and steel, and machinery. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the United States had invested $64.4 billion in Brazil as of 2016, while Brazil had invested $36.9 billion in the United States. Brazilian investment in the United States supports more than 74,200 jobs.

The United States welcomed more than 1.7 million visitors from Brazil in 2016, comprising the eighth-largest group of visitors. There were approximately 570,000 U.S. visitors to Brazil in 2016, comprising the second-largest source of visitors to Brazil. Travel industry experts expect the introduction of a less expensive electronic visa option for American citizen travelers to Brazil to boost tourism in 2018 and beyond.

Bilateral exchanges to promote economic relations between the United States and Brazil are strong. The United States and Brazil conduct regular exchanges on trade facilitation, regulatory good practices, and standards. The 16th plenary of the Commercial Dialogue occurred in May 2017, but regular exchanges at the work level continued throughout the year.

In January 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office and Brazil’s patent and trademark agency, INPI, launched the “Patent Prosecution Highway” (PPH) program, a fast-track examination agreement that allows the patent offices to leverage each other’s work product, and is a tool that will help improve patent quality and reduce Brazil’s backlog.

The two countries have also increased exchanges in global best practices in infrastructure development. The second meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Infrastructure Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) Working Group on Infrastructure Development took place in December 2017 in Brasilia, and coincided with the signing of a Global Procurement Initiative (GPI) to exchange best practices in government procurement.

U.S. Assistance to Brazil

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Brazil are working together to promote development in other countries, particularly in Africa and Latin America. USAID and Brazil have trilateral food security programs to increase agricultural productivity and address school nutrition in Honduras and Mozambique, and are teaming up to address the Fall Armyworm outbreak across Sub-Saharan Africa. USAID partners with four Brazilian ministries and the private sector to improve biodiversity conservation in the Amazon, primarily through close bilateral cooperation on strengthening Brazil’s vast Protected Areas system, including indigenous territorial management. Through public-private partnerships, USAID supports projects focused on biodiversity conservation, science, and technology, as well as entrepreneurship and access to English language training for Brazilian youth, while increasing the impact of social investments made by U.S. companies in Brazil through their corporate social investment programs.

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 traditionally has been a leader in the inter-American community, and is a member of the sub-regional MERCOSUR and UNASUR groups.

Bilateral Representation

Principal U.S. embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

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
USAID Brazil Page
HHS Office of Global Affairs Page
CDC 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 Information