The United States and Brazil – A Mature and Multi-Faceted Partnership
From The White House:
Today President Barack Obama hosted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the White House. Their meeting underscored the long-standing and increasingly diverse partnership between the United States and Brazil, which is rooted in a shared commitment to expand inclusive economic growth and prosperity; promote international peace and security and respect for human rights; strengthen bilateral defense and security cooperation; and deepen our people-to-people ties through exchanges in education, energy, health, science and technology, and innovation. The visit highlighted our cooperation in the following areas:
Expanding Economic Growth and Prosperity
- Social Security Agreement: The United States and Brazil seek to ease the burden on companies in order to facilitate job creation and growth, while enhancing the protection of our workers. To support this effort, the United States and Brazil have signed a Social Security Totalization agreement. This agreement will eliminate dual Social Security contributions, which occur when a worker from one country works in another country. It will also close the gaps in benefit protections for workers who divide their careers between the United States and Brazil. With trade and investment rapidly growing between our two countries, the United States estimates that this agreement will save U.S. and Brazilian companies more than $900 million over the first six years.
- Standards Alignment to Promote Trade: Recognizing the importance of aligning standards and standards-related work to increasing trade and investment, the United States Department of Commerce and the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade signed a memorandum of intent (MOI) to expand cooperation between the two ministries on standards and conformity assessment. The MOI emphasizes work with relevant public and private stakeholders, including U.S. and Brazilian standards developing organizations and trade associations, to promote cooperation on standards and conformity assessment to stimulate development and competitiveness.
- Mutual Beef Market Access: The United States and Brazil are two of the world’s largest agricultural producers and exporters, and we agreed to expand bilateral beef trade by undertaking science-based risk rulemaking in 2013. The United States of Department of Agriculture is amending its regulations to allow the importation of fresh beef from Brazil under specific conditions that mitigate the risk of foot-and-mouth disease. Additionally, the United States and Brazil are working to ensure that any Brazilian meat imported into the United States for human consumption complies with U.S. public health and food safety regulations. Brazil is taking action to expand U.S. beef access in the near future.
- Providing United States Passenger Service System to LATAM Airlines: Supported by a United States Trade and Development Agency training grant for TAM Airlines, U.S. travel technology provider Sabre will provide its passenger service system to LATAM Airlines Group. In 2012, the LATAM Airlines Group was formed by the Chile-based airline, LAN, and the Brazil-based airline, TAM. TAM, LAN, and their affiliates will now operate on Sabre’s technology across LATAM’s entire global network. LAN is a long-time Sabre customer and TAM’s migration to Sabre’s platform will represent the largest-ever implementation of a passenger service system for Latin America’s commercial aviation industry. Sabre’s comprehensive software and data solutions will help these airlines market themselves, sell products, serve customers and operate more efficiently and consistently across their entire network. These solutions empower airlines to make smarter operational decisions as well as personalize and retail their products to travelers.
- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act: The United States welcomes the entry into force of the agreement between the United States and Brazil to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The FATCA agreement will improve international tax compliance and combat offshore tax evasion by facilitating an annual automatic exchange, on a reciprocal basis, of specific account holder information that financial institutions in each country will report to their own governments as required under local law. The first exchange of information is scheduled to occur in September 2015.
- Mutual Recognition Joint Work Plan: The United States Department of Homeland Security and Brazil’s Secretariat of the Federal Revenue have signed a Joint Work Plan Regarding Mutual Recognition of Their Respective Authorized Economic Operator Programs. Under the plan, both countries will work toward recognizing the equivalency of the United States and Brazil’s security protocols to facilitate processing for low-risk cargo and promote greater trade.
- Promoting Entrepreneurship and the Growth of Small-and-Medium-Sized Enterprises: The United States and Brazil share the view that helping small businesses grow and entrepreneurs start new companies is key to creating jobs and ensuring inclusive economic growth. To that end, the United States and Brazil have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Promoting Entrepreneurship and the Growth of Micro-and-Small-Sized Enterprises. Under the MOU, the countries will advance the objectives of the Small Business Network of the Americas to foster greater connections among the thousands of business service providers and the millions of businesses they serve annually. The two countries will also promote entrepreneurship among women and expand opportunities for women-owned businesses through the Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas Initiative.
- Worksharing on Patents: Recognizing the value of collaboration on patents to promote innovation in the United States and Brazil, the United States Department of Commerce and Brazil’s Ministry for Development, Industry and Foreign Trade signed a Joint Statement on Patent Worksharing to improve efficiencies in the patent application process.
- Single Window Exchanges: Recognizing the robust engagement under the United States-Brazil Commercial Dialogue and the efforts of both countries to facilitate trade, the United States and Brazil will exchange lessons learned and best practices as each country develops and deploys their respective single window systems for international trade. This engagement, which will be initiated before the end of 2015, will support each country’s efforts to use automated capabilities and modernized trade processes to further facilitate lawful trade while identifying illicit or non-compliant shipments.
- Support for Financial Market Transactions: Through collaborations between private sector entities and National Institute of Standards and Technology on time and frequency standards, Brazilian financial markets will soon have access to precision network timing at the 50 microsecond level to better order and track electronic financial transactions. Financial markets across the world increasingly rely on automated, high-speed electronic trading where even microseconds make big differences in outcomes. Traders and regulators need reliable, auditable timing references to ensure transactions are made in the proper sequence, at the agreed upon times. Having more reliable transactions should be of benefit to both countries’ citizens and prevent losses in revenue.
Leading Together on Global, Multilateral, and Regional Issues
- Global Climate Change: The United States and Brazil have reduced absolute greenhouse gas emissions more than any other countries in the world since 2005 and are taking additional significant steps to reduce emissions. Presidents Obama and Rousseff are committed to working closely together to resolve potential obstacles towards an ambitious agreement in the Paris climate negotiations this December. Brazil previewed its post-2020 climate target, or intended nationally determined contribution, which will be based on the implementation of broad policies, including those in the forestry, land-use, industrial, and energy sectors and will represent Brazil’s highest possible effort beyond its current actions. Brazil announced that it will pursue policies aimed at eliminating illegal deforestation and will restore and reforest 12 million hectares of forests by 2030. The United States reaffirmed its intent to achieve an economy-wide target of reducing its emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels in 2005 2025* and to make best efforts to reduce its emissions by 28 percent. The United States and Brazil announced a joint goal of increasing the share of renewables – beyond hydropower – in their respective electricity generation mixes to the level of 20 percent by 2030. This is highly ambitious for both countries. For the United States, this will represent nearly a tripling of the current share of non-hydro renewables in the grid, and more than a doubling for Brazil. To demonstrate the depth of the joint commitment to this important issue, the United States and Brazil launched a Joint Climate Change Initiative, including a Climate Change Working Group that will focus on enhancing cooperation on sustainable land use, clean energy, and climate adaptation.
- Human Rights and Social Inclusion: The United States and Brazil are establishing a Global Human Rights Working Group under the auspices of our Global Partnership Dialogue to enhance collaboration on human rights issues in multilateral fora. In addition to ongoing efforts to fight racial and ethnic discrimination and advance gender equality, the United States and Brazil will work together at the United Nations Human Rights Council to promote the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender persons, and pursue cooperation on defending freedom of expression and advocating for citizens with disabilities.
- Food Security Support in Africa: The United States and Brazil have jointly provided select developing countries with technical assistance to enhance food security and nutrition, while strengthening local institutional capacity. Building on existing bilateral and trilateral partnerships, the United States Agency of International Development, in close coordination with the Brazilian Cooperation Agency, has proposed an increased investment of $2 million to improve food security in Mozambique. The investment will raise agricultural production through the Brazilian-led transfer of science and technology and targeted training for agricultural policy makers, technicians and farmers.
- Partnering on the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda:In addition to the trilateral food security cooperation described above, the United States and Brazil will jointly promote the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda Sustainable Development Goal on food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture by working bilaterally and through the United Nations. To fulfill this pledge, the United States and Brazil agree to work together via the Food and Agriculture Organization-hosted Tropical Agricultural Platform on improving nutrition by promoting innovation in local agricultural production. Furthermore, the United States and Brazil agree to strengthen their commitment to sustainable agriculture, including by enhancing their cooperation in the Global Research Alliance (GRA) for Agricultural Greenhouse Gases. As a symbol of our broader collaboration on food security and nutrition, the United States and Brazil will support the outcomes of the Second International Conference on Nutrition. The United States also commits to support Brazil in its leadership of the 2016 Nutrition for Growth initiative, which Brazil will host during the 2016 Olympic Games.
- Supporting the Brazilian National Truth Commission: At the request of the Brazilian National Truth Commission, the United States surveyed its departmental and archival holdings for relevant records on human rights abuses and political violence in Brazil between 1964 and 1985. The National Declassification Center (NDC) led an initial search of 2.5 million pages, reviewed 400,000 potentially responsive pages, and identified over 4,500 relevant pages that were declassified in full or in part. The NDC will digitize these pages, which will be available at the United States National Archives, and has provided them to the Government of Brazil.
- Cyber and Internet Policy: The United States and Brazil are partners in strengthening the “multistakeholder” approach to Internet governance to preserve the benefits of a single, reliable, open, interoperable, and secure Internet. Toward that end, both countries are committed to holding the next iteration of the United States-Brazil Internet and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Working Group this fall in Brasilia. Through discussion between our governments and with key stakeholders in the Internet Community, we will promote a vibrant digital economy, improve our collaboration on cybersecurity, discuss cybercrime prevention, strengthen capacity building activities, reaffirm our commitments to international security in cyberspace, and encourage the acceptance of norms of responsible state behavior in peacetime. The United States looks forward to Brazil hosting the Internet Governance Forum in November 2015.
Strengthening Defense and Security Cooperation
- Defense Cooperation Agreement: The United States notes with satisfaction the entry into force of the United States-Brazil Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA). The DCA will strengthen bilateral defense relations and enable greater cooperation between the United States and Brazil in defense-related matters, especially research and development, commercial initiatives, logistics support, technology security, and the acquisition and development of defense products and services. The agreement promotes joint exercises and the exchange of information and equipment, especially to improve the conduct of international peacekeeping operations.
- The General Security of Military Information Agreement: The United States notes with satisfaction the entry into force of the United States-Brazil General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). The GSOMIA will allow the United States and Brazil to share certain types of information, technology, and hardware. The GSOMIA will allow for more military exchanges, more sophisticated joint exercises and training, and improved interoperability. It will also further facilitate the sharing of sophisticated capabilities and technologies and pave the way for space and other advanced technology demonstrations, scientific exchanges, and potentially joint technology development initiatives.
- Defense Industry Dialogue: The United States Departments of Defense and Commerce together with the Brazilian Ministry of Defense announced their endorsement of industry efforts to launch a bilateral Defense Industry Dialogue later this year. This dialogue will institutionalize engagement between the U.S. and Brazilian private sectors to enable governments and industry to exchange information and ideas; increase technology cooperation and collaboration in the defense sector; deepen mutual understanding of our defense industries; and discuss long-term defense priorities.
- Collaboration on Law Enforcement: The United States Department of Homeland Security and Brazil Federal Highway Police agreed to formalize their already robust collaboration to counter international criminal organizations by signing a Joint Statement on Law Enforcement Collaboration. The Joint Statement supports the continued collaboration of both governments to combat intellectual property rights violations, transnational criminal organizations, money laundering, and human trafficking.
Deepening People-to-People Ties through Education, Energy, Science and Technology, Health, and Innovation
- Career and Technical Education: The United States and Brazil have established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote the exchange of knowledge and experience between our two countries in the field of career and technical education. This MOU will encourage future arrangements among government, independent agencies, and institutions involved in career and technical education on internships, connecting industry to academia, the development of instructional programs, and faculty, staff, and student exchanges.
- Funding Entrepreneurs: Leveraging a grant from the United States Department of State and matching funds from Brazilian federal universities, the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business will establish a pilot entrepreneurship training program in Brazil with federal universities to teach scientists and other entrepreneurs how to take ideas to market.
- Scholarly Collaboration on Climate Change: The United States Department of State and Brazilian Ministry of Education have agreed to renew their joint commitments to support the Fulbright Regional Network for Applied Research (NEXUS) Program. This iteration of the NEXUS program will bring together scholars from the United States, Brazil, and other countries in the Americas to confront the challenge of climate change through collaborative research.
- Cooperation on Energy and Related Science Research and Development: As an outcome of the May 2015 United States-Brazil Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) on Science and Technology, the United States Department of Energy and the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation agreed to identify areas for expanded clean energy research and development cooperation. This expands the network of American and Brazilian researchers focused on clean energy-related research through student and scientist exchanges between the United States Energy Frontier Research Centers and Brazilian universities and research organizations supported by Brazil’s Scientific Mobility Program.
- Environmental Cooperation: The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Brazilian Ministry of Environment have launched a new work plan under their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to protect the environment while promoting economic growth and social development. Under the MOU, the United States and Brazil will address water management and urban sustainability. Additional areas for collaboration will include environmentally sensitive development of unconventional oil and gas sources, environmental impact assessments, and sustainable materials management.
- Health Cooperation: Recognizing the importance of research and collaboration to improve health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services completed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Health of Brazil to foster further cooperation in health and biomedical research. The MOU promotes research innovation, training, and collaborative activities in a wide range of shared priority areas, including, but not limited to, antimicrobial resistance, non-communicable diseases, neglected tropical diseases, regulatory practice and health data.
- Labor Cooperation: Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Labor Cooperation signed in June 2015, the United States and Brazil intend to continue to strengthen cooperation on employment and social protection; youth employment; equal opportunities and treatment at work; occupational safety and health; social dialogue and collective bargaining; child labor and forced labor; and other topics of mutual interest. For over a decade, our countries have partnered to combat forced labor and child labor, both in Brazil and, increasingly, in other countries as well. Both countries are supporting a trilateral partnership with Peru to replicate some components of Brazil’s own comprehensive approach to combat forced labor.
- Fitness, Physical Activity, and Sports Participation: Recognizing the importance of physical activity for health, the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Brazilian Ministry of Sports signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to improve public health through fitness, nutrition, and sports participation. The MOU will allow for sharing ideas on national guidelines on physical activities and nutrition and expanding youth sports participation, with an emphasis on female youth and youth with disabilities.
- Collaboration on Science and Technology: Following the May 28-29 Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation, the United States and Brazil committed to collaborating in biodiversity and monitoring; continuing close cooperation in GEONETCast Americas and exploring expansion of the system; clean energy cooperation; collaborating on disaster recovery activities; creating a steering committee for the Public Health working group; and sharing best practices on evaluation of the impact of science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) education programs.
- Information and Communications Technology Partnership: The United States Trade and Development Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Brazilian State Information and Communications Technology Association (ABEP) to support t information technology modernization in Brazil. The partnership will facilitate the use of early project planning tools and technical exchanges between U.S. industry and ABEP’s member companies.
- Civil Space Cooperation: The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Brazilian Space Agency signed three new arrangements that extend their civil space cooperation in new areas, including in heliophysics, adding Brazil as a partner to the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, and enabling qualified Brazilian undergraduate and graduate level students to participate in an internship at a NASA Center.
- Research on Water Resources: A critical element to preparing for natural hazards such as droughts and floods is a state-of-the-art hydrologic monitoring network of stream gages along with the technical expertise to analyze and publish scientific data in usable products. A Memorandum of Understanding among the United States Geological Survey, National Water Agency of Brazil and Geologic Survey of Brazil will further the advancement of the collection, analysis, and research of the water resources of Brazil by establishing a uniform national benchmark network of stream gages that will provide timely hydrologic information so water resources and emergency managers can make informed decisions on the protection of life, property, and the economy.