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 during President Obama’s visit to Brazil in March 2011 and five more signed during President Rousseff’s visit to the United States in April 2012 testify to an intensification of bilateral engagement in a broad range of areas of mutual interest. Since 2011, a series of high-level dialogues have been created or upgraded, including four Presidential Dialogues: the Global Partnership Dialogue, Economic and Financial Dialogue, Strategic Energy Dialogue, and 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 President Obama’s “100,000 Strong in the Americas” goal and Brazilian President Rousseff’s “Science without Borders” initiative 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 also 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 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
In 2007, the United States and Brazil launched the Economic Partnership Dialogue, a multi-agency technical consultative mechanism that addresses bilateral, trilateral, and hemispheric initiatives. The two countries also signed an agreement in 2011 to enhance cooperation on trade and investment. The agreement aims to expand the direct trade and investment relationship by providing a framework to deepen cooperation on innovation, trade facilitation, and technical barriers to trade. The Economic Partnership Dialogue promotes economic cooperation across a range of issues.
In 2011, the United States accounted for 10% of Brazil's exports and 15% of Brazil's imports. The flow of investment between the United States and Brazil is increasingly important, as the United States is one of Brazil's top foreign investor. Brazil has been designated a priority market under both the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and for FY 2012 via SelectUSA to promote exports and two-way investment. As the world’s largest biofuels producers, the two countries have worked together to help make sustainable biofuels a global commodity.
In March 2011 the U.S. Ambassador and Brazilian Foreign Minister signed the U.S.-Brazil Air Transport Agreement that, once in force, will establish an Open Skies air transportation relationship between our two countries. In April 2012 the Secretary and the Brazilian Foreign Minister signed the bilateral Aviation Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will provide a coordinated venue for both countries to address aviation sector priorities, including technical cooperation on aviation infrastructure, air transportation, and air traffic management technologies. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) also held an Airports Modernization Technologies Reverse Trade Mission for Brazilian officials in June 2012. This was the inaugural activity of the U.S. Brazil Aviation Partnership.
Some 150,000 U.S. citizens visit Brazil annually. In 2011, more than 1.5 million Brazilians visited the United States, spending more than $6.8 billion, extending the arrivals expansion streak to eight years and setting a second consecutive record. Travel and tourism exports now account for 34% of all U.S. services exports to Brazil. In 2012, the U.S. government embarked on a national strategy to make the United States the world's top travel and tourism destination, to generate jobs and revitalize the U.S. economy. Goals include increasing visitor visa processing capacity at U.S. missions in Brazil and China by 40% in 2012.
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