TradeMoves recently attended a US-Brazil panel on current trade and economic relations between the two biggest economies in the Americas. The panel provided insight into Brazilian President Rousseff’s plan for her official visit to the United States the week of 29 June 2015. Although several topics were discussed, the panelists highlighted Brazil’s optimism for strategic alignment with the United States.
Considered a protectionist government, Brazil holds this reputation by imposing various entry restrictions and barriers to trade; all of which make it particularly difficult for US small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to compete in Brazil. Access to the Brazilian market is not easy, yet US businesses of all sizes recognize potential export sales in this important South American economy. Brazil’s government has facilitated an initiative to build a comprehensive agenda in order to overhaul current obstacles and participate more fully in the global trade arena.
Increased collaboration and dialogue between Brazil and the United States will be important to help US exporters gain a foothold in Brazil. Enabling regional integration that includes the United States will lead to improved trade facilitation. At this stage, it is unclear if or when the United States and Brazil will pursue reciprocal free trade agreement (FTA) talks. The Free Trade Area of the Americas has long been stalled. However, Brazil is expected to graduate from the US unilateral tariff preference program for developing countries – Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) – just as it has from Canada’s and the European Union’s GSP programs. Brazil may look to pursue FTAs with trading partners in the north so that their exporters can again benefit from lower duties in exchange for improved access to the Brazilian market through lower import tariffs and reduction in regulatory barriers.
Overall, both economies understand each other’s position, and both are eager to amplify the gained opportunities from improved bilateral relationship. As a step forward, both governments signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) in March 2015 to expand cooperation and standards alignment to promote trade. For more details about the United States-Brazil meetings, check out the White House Fact Sheet. In addition, the US-Brazil CEO Forum continues its work to provide commercially meaningful recommendations to both governments with aim to improve US-Brazil trade relations and two-way trade. Unfortunately, there are currently no US SME representatives on the Forum, and those US SMEs with experience in the Brazilian market are encouraged to apply in the next recruitment cycle.
Let us know your experience when trading with Brazil. What barriers is your business facing? Contact us if we can help. Reach out on Linkedin or Twitter with your feedback.