Call For Stronger U.S., Brazil Partnership

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. July 15, 2011: The U.S. is being urged to develop a stronger, mature partnership with Brazil.

The call comes from the Council of Foreign Relations sponsored Independent Task Force report. The report’s authors asset that it is in the interest of the United States to understand Brazil as a complex international actor whose influence on the defining global issues of the day is only likely to increase.”

They point to the fact that over the course of a generation, Brazil has emerged as both a driver of growth in South America and as an active force in world politics and currently ranks as the world’s fifth-largest landmass, fifth-largest population, and expects to soon be ranked the fifth largest economy.

The report, Global Brazil and U.S.-Brazil Relations, recommends that “U.S. policymakers recognize Brazil’s standing as a global actor, treat its emergence as an opportunity for the United States, and work with Brazil to develop complementary policies.”

It argues that “a formal endorsement from the United States for Brazil would go far to overcome lingering suspicion within the Brazilian government that the U.S. commitment to a mature relationship between equals is largely rhetorical.”

The Task Force further recommends that the U.S. Congress “include an elimination of the ethanol tariff in any bill regarding reform to the ethanol and bio-fuel tax credit regime;” the United States “take the first step to waive visa requirements for Brazilians by immediately reviewing Brazil’s criteria for participation in the Visa Waiver Program;” the U.S. State Department create an Office for Brazilian Affairs and the National Security Council (NSC) centralize its efforts under a NSC director for Brazil in order to better coordinate the current decentralized U.S. policy.

“We believe that a more gradual approach [regarding Brazil’s inclusion as a full UNSC member] would likely have more success in navigating the diplomatic complexities presented by U.S. support for Brazil,” added the report.