U.S. and Brazil agree to new trade protocols

The U.S. and Brazil have set new rules this week that could double trade in the next five years.

While the deal does not include more ag purchases, it could cut through red tape and level the playing field for U.S. producers, who shipped nearly $600 million dollars worth of ag products there last year.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonoro has visited the U.S. four times and met with President Donald Trump each time. Speaking through a translator, he highlighted the new U.S.-Brazil trade agreement.

“Brazilian and U.S. officials completed, in record time, negotiations of three agreements that have long been demanded by the private sectors of our countries,” Bolsonoro said. “A trade facilitation agreement, an agreement on best regulatory practices and an anti-corruption agreement. This triple package will be able to slash red tape and bring about even more growth to our bilateral trade with beneficial effects to the flow of investments as well.”

Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo says that many industries will see benefits, including agriculture.

“You see it in the way our security teams are beginning to work, you see it in how we are in a better place in respect with intelligence sharing,” Pompeo said. “We have two nations that produce an awful lot of the world’s food, agricultural nations, with deep capabilities in ag tech, and the capacity to continue to feed the next billion people in the world and we will continue to work on that together.”

The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs says that progress is already being made on regulatory reforms.

“In the short-term, we are already achieving more than we have in a very long time with the new regulatory agreement and, also, with some specific solutions that we’re working on for sectors like steel and ethanol sugar,” Ernesto Araujo said.

Brazilian Ambassador Nestor Forster says that Brazil has also been working on economic reforms to make the country more attractive to foreign investment.

“Last year, we had a historic pension system reform approved after 20 years of discussion,” Ambassador Forster notes. “Currently before our Congress, we have a tax reform, administrative reform, all geared to open up the Brazilian economy, reduce the size of state participation in the economy, basically open the private sector to foreign investment.”

U.S. Ambassador Todd Chapman says that the agreement lays the groundwork for significantly expanding trade over the next five years.

“Our trade is over $100 billion dollars a year, it was last year. Of course this year it’s down because of the pandemic, but at $105 billion dollars in two-way trade, we still have a significant ways to go to take advantage of all the opportunities that we have,” he said. “So, by bringing down these barriers we are setting as a target to double our bilateral trade in the next five years, which I believe is totally doable.”