More information about Brazil is available on the Brazil Country Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States and Brazil enjoy 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 economic growth and prosperity; promote international peace, security, and respect for human rights; and strengthen defense and security cooperation.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Brasilia for President Jair Bolsonaro’s inauguration in January 2019, and President Bolsonaro visited Washington and met with President Trump in March 2019. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross visited Brazil in August 2019. These visits reflect the commitment of both countries to advance our shared goals through high-level engagement.
The United States and Brazil have a long history of deepening people-to-people ties through investment and exchanges in education, culture, energy, health, agriculture, science and technology, English language training, 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. We have been strengthening the U.S.-Brazil strategic partnership through capacity building in English teaching and learning throughout the country – liaising with the Ministry of Education, State and Municipal Secretariats of public education, English teacher associations, public and private universities, and other partners – in order to offer professional development, educational exchange programs, and materials for English language teachers and students. Education USA helps Brazilian university students access information and opportunities to study in the United States at its 38 centers throughout Brazil. The government of Brazil continues to invest in Embassy-initiated exchange programs such as the Professional Development of Public School English Language Teachers (PDPI) in the United States, and a considerable expansion of the English Teaching Assistant Program in Brazil.
The two countries maintain 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, meteorology and standards, environmental impact monitoring, and an extensive range of public health efforts. Brazil is also home to the U.S. National Institute of Health’s (NIH) largest research portfolio in Latin America.
The United States and Brazil signed the United States-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality (JAPER) in 2008. In March 2019, the Department launched an Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation grant to restore and preserve the Valongo Wharf archaeological site in Rio de Janeiro, which will ensure the appropriate infrastructure for wharf public visits and education outreach on the history and modern-day contributions of African Descendants in Brazil and beyond.
The United States and Brazil are working together on key global, multilateral, and regional issues. Brazil’s national 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.
During President Bolsonaro’s March visit to Washington, the United States and Brazil signed the Technology Safeguards Agreement which, once ratified by the Brazilian congress, will guarantee that U.S. sensitive technologies are protected from unauthorized uses and will establish the safeguards to support the launch of U.S.-licensed satellites or space launch vehicles from the Alcantara Space Center in Brazil. This agreement has the potential to open new commercial opportunities for Americans and Brazilians in a range of advanced technologies related to space, including satellites. The visit also led to an agreement between NASA and the Brazilian Space Agency to launch a jointly developed research satellite in the near future.
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 June 2019, President Trump designated Brazil as a Major Non-NATO Ally of the United States. Following the successful visit of Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva to Washington in March 2019, the third iteration of the U.S.-Brazil Defense Industry Dialogue took place in Rio de Janeiro in April 2019. This ongoing, public-private dialogue has generated important policy deliverables such as the March 2019 signing of the Technology Safeguards Agreement and spurred numerous industry collaborations since its launch in 2016.
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 in goods and services was $103.9 billion (70.7 billion in goods and 33.2 billion in services) in 2018. Last year, the United States had an overall trade surplus of $20.6 billion for goods and services, including an $8.3 billion trade surplus for goods alone. 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 $68.34 billion in Brazil as of 2017.
The United States welcomed more than 1.9 million visitors from Brazil in 2017, comprising the eighth-largest group of visitors. There were approximately 475,000 U.S. visitors to Brazil in 2017, comprising the second-largest source of visitors to Brazil. During his March 2019 visit to Washington, President Bolsonaro announced Brazil’s intent to exempt U.S. citizens from tourist visa requirements for travel to Brazil, and this went into force in June. The United States and Brazil conduct regular exchanges on trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, and standards. The 17th plenary of the Commercial Dialogue will occur in September 2019, and regular exchanges at the working level between U.S. Department of Commerce, Brazil’s Ministry of Economy and other agencies and regulators continue throughout the year. Presidents Trump and Bolsonaro announced a new phase of the U.S. Brazil CEO Forum following their March 19, 2019 meeting. The Presidents also agreed to establish a United States-Brazil Energy Forum to facilitate energy-related trade and investment.
U.S. Assistance to Brazil
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) engages in a long-standing strategic bilateral partnership with the Government of Brazil across several joint priorities, including biodiversity conservation in the Amazon, trilateral technical assistance for other countries in targeted areas, and technical assistance for private sector partnerships to promote best practices and resources to stimulate development solutions for the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable socioeconomic livelihoods of the Amazon. In addition to these lines of effort, in response to the Venezuela regional crisis, USAID’s regional mission in Peru provides medium-to-long-term assistance to Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru to improve and facilitate the economic integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in major receptor communities in Peru, Ecuador and Brazil.
- The Partnership for Conservation of Amazon Biodiversity (PCAB) is a multi-year (2016-2024), $80 million bilateral agreement with the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), the Ministry of Environment (MMA), the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), and the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI). The purpose of the partnership is to strengthen Brazil’s vast protected area systems, including indigenous territories, to support sustainable forest-friendly value chains, and to foster private sector leadership and engagement in joint solutions.
- USAID works with Brazilian partners to advance innovative financing solutions for hard-to-reach forest and biodiversity-supportive businesses, and facilitate private-sector led collective action platforms, such as the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA), which includes 20+ companies (a mix of Brazilian, American and international companies) that is generating private sector and market-led sustainable economic solutions designed to reduce deforestation, conserve biodiversity and improve community well-being.
- Mais Unidos brings together U.S. companies that invest in science, and technology, as well as entrepreneurship and access to English language training for Brazilian youth over the last ten years.
- In March 2019, USAID and Brazil’s Ministry of Environment signed a Letter of Intent to facilitate the first-ever biodiversity-focused impact-investment fund for the Brazilian Amazon that will mobilize $100 million in private sector financing for equity and loan investments for sustainable business ventures aligned with forest and biodiversity conservation.
USAID and the Government of Brazil work together to promote development in other countries, particularly in Africa and Latin America, through trilateral technical assistance. USAID and the Government of Brazil have implemented trilateral food security programs to increase agricultural productivity, improve food security, and address school nutrition in Honduras, Haiti, and Mozambique, and have teamed up to address the Fall Armyworm outbreak across Sub-Saharan Africa.
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 the 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.
During President Bolsonaro’s March 2019 visit to Washington, President Trump stated his support for Brazil’s efforts to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Principal U.S. embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
More information about Brazil is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: