U.S. Relations With Brazil

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Fact Sheet
November 23, 2016

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 traditionally have enjoyed 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 inclusive economic growth and prosperity, promote international peace and security and respect for human rights, and strengthen defense and security cooperation.  The two countries have over 20 dialogues at the assistant secretary level or above, including the Global Partnership Dialogue, the Economic and Financial Dialogue, the Strategic Energy Dialogue, and the Defense Cooperation Dialogue.  In 2016,  the Secretary of State, Treasury Secretary, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, among others, all visited Brazil to advance our collaboration.

Brazil hosted a safe, successful Olympics and Paralympics in 2016.  In preparation for these mega-events, U.S. and Brazilian law enforcement coordinated to share best practices for preventing serious security incidents. This exchange included bringing Brazilian law enforcement representatives to high-profile events in the United States to get a firsthand look at U.S. preparations.

The United States and Brazil have a long history of deepening people-to-people ties through exchanges in education, energy, health, science and technology, and innovation. 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 the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative create opportunities for study and research abroad. EducationUSA helps connect Brazilian students to U.S. universities, and other initiatives focus on English language learning and professional development for Brazilian teachers. The two countries have extensive scientific exchanges at the individual researcher level, as well as bilateral collaborations with the U.S. Geologic Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The two nations collaborate in ocean weather monitoring, metrology and standards, environmental impact monitoring, and nanotechnology.

The United States and Brazil are working together on key global, multilateral, and regional issues. To demonstrate their commitment to addressing climate change, the United States and Brazil in June 2015 launched a Joint Initiative on Climate Change to enhance cooperation on sustainable land use, clean energy, and climate adaptation. The U.S.-Brazil Climate Change Working Group last met in October 2016 in New York City, and announced the creation of a Brazil Lab that will provide financing for projects that will help Brazil meet its pledges under the Paris Climate Agreement. The United States and Brazil are also advancing human rights issues in bilateral and multilateral fora. In addition to efforts to fight racial and ethnic discrimination, advance gender equality, and combat exploitative child and forced labor, the United States works with Brazil at the United Nations Human Rights Council to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons, and to defend freedom of expression and advocate for people with disabilities. The United States and Brazil are partners in strengthening the “multistakeholder” approach to Internet governance to preserve the benefits of an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet. To promote the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda Sustainable Development Goals, the United States and Brazil are collaborating on sustainable agriculture, food security, and nutrition.

With the bilateral Defense Cooperation Agreement and the General Security of Military Information Agreement having entered into force in June 2015, 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 September 2016, U.S. and Brazilian officials inaugurated a bilateral Defense Industry Dialogue, designed to improve coordination with the private sector and facilitate trade in the defense industry. 

U.S. Assistance to Brazil

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Brazil are working together to promote development in other countries, particularly in Africa and Latin America. USAID and Brazil have trilateral food security programs to increase agricultural productivity in Haiti, Honduras, and Mozambique; they jointly focus on improving citizen security in Central America; and USAID partners with four Brazilian ministries and the private sector are improving biodiversity conservation in the Amazon. Through public-private partnerships, USAID supports projects focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and access to English language training for Brazilian youth, while increasing the impact of social investments made by U.S. companies in Brazil through their corporate social responsibility programs.

There has been extensive and high-level engagement between the U.S. Government and the Government of Brazil to combat Zika virus and associated complications.  The U.S. and Brazilian governments are working in close collaboration on joint research on the impact of Zika during pregnancy, and the links between Zika, microcephaly, and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.  The U.S. government is also working with Brazilian research institutions on development of a vaccine, and to develop faster, more definitive testing methods for Zika.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Economic relations between the United States and Brazil are significant and growing. Mechanisms that facilitate the movement of trade, investment, and people between the United States and Brazil, expand prosperity in both countries, and foster dialogue on key issues include:

  • The Economic and Financial Dialogue, which promotes common positions on global policy issues.
  • The Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Relations, which explores greater cooperation on economic and trade issues.
  • The Commercial Dialogue, which develops strategies to eliminate impediments to trade and investment.
  • The CEO Forum, through which U.S. and Brazilian executives advise policymakers on commercial and economic issues.
  • The Consultative Committee on Agriculture, which seeks to boost agricultural trade and cooperation.
  • The Strategic Energy Dialogue, which aims to strengthen energy security, create new jobs and industries, and reduce carbon emissions.

Brazil is the world’s ninth-largest economy and the United States is Brazil’s second-largest trading partner. Two-way trade has been at record highs in recent years, totaling $95.4 billion in 2015. The United States had a $23.6 billion trade surplus with Brazil in 2015. 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 $65.2 billion in Brazil as of 2015.

The United States welcomed more than 2.2 million visitors from Brazil in 2015, comprising the seventh largest group of visitors.  There were over 575,000 U.S. visitors to Brazil in 2015, comprising the second largest source of visitors to Brazil.  Over 100,000 U.S. visitors attended the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics..

Recent months have seen an increase in engagement between the U.S. and Brazil on economic issues. In March 2016, the U.S. Trade Representative hosted the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ATEC), which was held at the ministerial level for the first time.  Following that meeting, the two governments signed a new Memorandum of Cooperation on Bilateral Infrastructure Development to complement and strengthen our engagement under the U.S.-Brazil Transportation Partnership, Aviation Partnership, and Strategic Energy Dialogue. In June 2016, the Department of Commerce led the U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue to expand commercial ties and address non-tariff barriers to trade.  In August 2016, after more than 13 years of closed beef markets, the U.S. and Brazilian governments agreed to open mutual market access for beef between the two countries.

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 traditionally has been a leader in the inter-American community, and is a member of the sub-regional MERCOSUR and UNASUR groups.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Brazil is Liliana Ayalde; other principal embassy and consulate officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

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