More information about Brazil is available on the Brazil country page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States and Brazil enjoy deep and broad political and economic relations. Following Brazil’s Independence in 1822, the United States was one of the first countries to recognize Brazil, in 1824. As the largest democracies in the Western Hemisphere, the United States-Brazil partnership is rooted in a shared commitment to sustainable economic growth and prosperity; promotion of international peace, security, and respect for human rights; protection of the environment and biodiversity; and strong defense and security cooperation.
U.S.-Brazil Bilateral Economic Relations
Brazil is the world’s twelfth-largest economy, and the United States is Brazil’s second-largest trading partner. Two-way trade in goods and services was $98.4 billion ($78 billion in goods and $20.4 billion in services) in 2021, a significant recovery compared to $77.3 billion registered during the pandemic in 2020. In 2021, the United States had an overall trade surplus of $25.5 billion for goods and services, including a $15.5 billion trade surplus for goods alone. Brazil’s main imports from the United States are aircraft, machinery, petroleum products, and medical instruments. The United States is Brazil’s second-largest export market. Brazil’s primary export products to the United States are crude oil, aircraft, iron and steel, and machinery. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis counted $67.5 billion of U.S. direct investment in Brazil as of 2021 on a historical cost basis; the Brazil Central Bank measured the total at $123.9 billion as of 2020.
The United States and Brazil conduct regular government-to-government exchanges on topics including trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, and standards. In February 2022, a new protocol signed in 2020 updating the 2011 Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation went into effect, adding state-of-the-art provisions on Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation, Good Regulatory Practices, and Anticorruption. The ongoing Energy Dialogue, Critical Minerals Working Group, Commercial Dialogue, and CEO Forum bring cabinet officials and private sector leaders together to coordinate policy measures that can facilitate better economic relations, and regular exchanges at the working level between U.S. and Brazilian economic departments, ministries, and agencies. In February 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the launch of a full Global Entry arrangement with the government of Brazil to offer Brazilian citizens greater ease in traveling to the United States for business or tourism.
U.S.-Brazil Relations on Human Rights
The U.S. and Brazil have partnered extensively on human rights over the years. Since 2015, the two countries have held the U.S.-Brazil Global Human Rights Working Group dialogue to engage on key multilateral and bilateral issues and have remained in consistent communication on these matters. At the latest meeting in February 2022, the United States and Brazil discussed positions and possibilities for better alignment within the United Nations, including the Security Council, General Assembly, and Human Rights Council, as well issues of bilateral concern, such as police violence and racial bias, gender equity, protection of rights of Indigenous peoples and environmental defenders, business and human rights, and the protection and promotion of religious freedom.
The United States has ongoing collaboration with Brazilian partners, the government, and the private sector to support COVID-19 response efforts. The United States government has provided more than $30 million in direct funding and the U.S. private sector has contributed more than $75 million to fight COVID-19 in Brazil in 2020 and 2021, in addition to donating three million doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and 2.1 million AstraZeneca doses in 2021.
In 2020, USAID donated 1,000 ventilators to Brazil, and provided over $9.5 million in support to Brazil’s COVID-19 response, leveraging private sector investments of more than $3.5 million and in 2021, USAID provided additional assistance over $18 million to support to Brazil’s COVID-19 response. Activities included risk communication and community engagement, infection prevention and control, water and sanitation, microcredit, and social safety net support, such as food and hygiene kits to remote communities in the Amazon region. In 2020, the U.S. Southern Command of the Department of Defense donated personal protection equipment for medical personnel and food in Manaus and the Amazon region and in the same year the Department of Defense funded research and development of a low-cost, patent-free emergency pulmonary ventilator, developed by a team at USP’s Polytechnic School. In 2021, the Department of Defense’s Southern Command donated structures to the states of Maranhão and Minas Gerais to set up field hospitals that can accommodate 40 beds, generators, and four ventilators for emergency response.
U.S.-Brazil Climate Engagement
Brazil is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, largely due to deforestation and agricultural production. Brazil also has one of cleanest power generation matrixes in the world, with a heavy reliance on hydro-electric power as well as increasing solar and wind capacity. More than 60% of the Amazon Forest – a globally-critical carbon sink – lies within Brazil’s borders. The United States currently provides technical and financial support to a variety of stakeholders in the country to help conserve and better manage forests, address forest fires, support livelihoods that are consistent with climate ambition and ecosystem conservation, and to improve the clean energy matrix. The United States and Brazil are engaged in ongoing technical discussions to identify opportunities to enhance the ambition of climate action – especially through reducing deforestation. The Brazilian Government has committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and eliminating illegal deforestation by 2028. Implementing effective strategies to conserve and enhance forests, address other major sources of emissions from agriculture and energy, and enhance the resilience of communities would help put Brazil on a pathway to meet these commitments.
U.S.-Brazil Education and Cultural Cooperation
The United States and Brazil have a long history of people-to-people ties through investment and exchanges in education, culture, energy, health, agriculture, science and technology, English language training, and innovation.
More than 40,000 youth, students, scholars, teachers, and professionals have participated in exchanges between the United States and Brazil. The binational Fulbright Commission (established in 1957) supports student and research exchanges with over 7,000 alumni since its inception. English teaching and learning capacity building continues through a variety of projects with public and private educational institutions across the country. Forty-three EducationUSA centers help Brazilian university students access information and opportunities to study in the United States. EducationUSA’s Opportunity Funds program gives Brazilian students from diverse, underprivileged backgrounds and high academic excellence the up-front assistance they need to apply to colleges and universities in the United States. Brazil’s network of 31 American Spaces provides a platform for public diplomacy programming on key foreign policy priorities including promoting entrepreneurship, STEM education, the rule of law, and economic tries.
In 2020, Brazil launched the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) to provide women entrepreneurs the knowledge, networks and access they need to launch or scale their business. To date, over 180 women have benefited from the AWE program. In 2021, the United States expanded Access-E2C, an English language program for young professionals from historically marginalized groups. In 2022, the United States also launched the Power4Girls program, focusing on promoting innovation and leadership for high school girls, and Access Amazon, to provide English skills to underserved populations in the Amazon. To date in 2022, English Language programs in Brazil include 28 Specialist programs, 25 Virtual Fellow and Educator programs, six in-person Fellows, as well as 380 Access students, reaching diverse and indigenous audiences and addressing local language learning needs. In 2022, the flagship Youth Ambassadors exchange program also celebrated its twentieth year of connecting Brazilian and American youth leaders. Since 2002, there have been 842 Youth Ambassadors from Brazil and the program has expanded to more than 30 countries, including the United States, which has sent 198 Youth Ambassadors to Brazil.
Every year, 20 business and social entrepreneurs from Brazil participate in the Young Leaders of the Americas (YLAI) Fellowship Program, and Brazil has a network of 99 YLAI fellowship alumni. The two countries maintain extensive scientific exchanges at the individual researcher level, as well as bilateral collaborations with the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Smithsonian Institution, Department of Energy, and National Institute of Standards and Technology. The two nations collaborate in weather monitoring, meteorology and standards, environmental impact monitoring, and an extensive range of public health efforts. Brazil is also home to the U.S. National Institute of Health’s (NIH) largest research portfolio in Latin America. This work is supported by our bilateral agreement on science and technology cooperation.
Since 2018, the United States has supported three cultural heritage preservation projects in Brazil through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, including a major project to conserve the remains of the early 19th-century Valongo Wharf site in Rio de Janeiro, where an estimated one million enslaved Africans entered Brazil against their will. Other recent projects include the preservation of the archives of the Museu de Arte in Rio Grande do Sul and the conservation of an historic building at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Diamantina.
In summer 2022, ECA’s TechGirls program expanded to include Brazil as an eligible country, with the very first cohort of Brazilian young women (ages 15-17) traveling to the United States to join peers from the United States and 34 countries worldwide as part of the monthlong, STEM-focused exchange.
U.S.-Brazil Technology and Defense Cooperation
In 2019, the Brazilian Congress ratified the Technology Safeguards Agreement, which guarantees that U.S. sensitive technologies are protected from unauthorized uses and establishes the safeguards to support the potential future launch of U.S.-licensed satellites or space launch vehicles from the Alcantara Space Center in northeastern Brazil. This agreement opened new commercial opportunities for American and Brazilian enterprises in a range of advanced technologies related to space, including satellites. In 2021 Brazil signed the Artemis accords, becoming the first South American country to partner with the United States in a program that establishes a common vision for governance in the civil exploration and use of outer space and with the goal to land the first woman and the first person of color on the surface of the Moon.
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. Under the umbrella of the U.S-Brazil Defense Cooperation Agreement, which entered into force in 2015, a range of security cooperation agreements and initiatives promote joint exercises and facilitate the sharing of sophisticated capabilities and technologies. The third Plenary Meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Defense Industry Dialogue took place in Rio de Janeiro in April 2019. This ongoing, public-private dialogue has generated important results and spurred numerous industry collaborations since its launch in 2016. Brazil became a Major Non-NATO Ally of the United States in July 2019.
In March 2022, the Brazilian Congress ratified the Research, Development, Test and Evaluations (RDT&E) Agreement with the United States, allowing for potential partnerships in the development of defense technology between U.S. and Brazilian defense companies. The RDT&E Agreement enables joint development of basic, applied, and advanced technology between the U.S. Department of Defense and the Brazilian Ministry of Defense. Brazil is the only country in South America to have such an agreement with the United States.
U.S. Assistance to Brazil
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureaus of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), U.S. Department of Justice, and U.S. Forest Service, and other partners provide law enforcement and justice sector investigation and prosecution training for Brazilian counterparts to support their efforts to combat trafficking of wildlife, gold, timber, and other conservation crimes that impact both the United States and Brazil.
The U.S. Mission also employs a variety of INL programs to build the capacity of Brazilian law enforcement partners. INL funded training led by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, DEA, FBI, and other partners is actively increasing Brazil’s capacity to increase citizen security, interdict drugs, and counter the expansion of Brazil-based transnational crime organizations (TCOs) that threaten U.S. security and prosperity. The Department of Homeland Security partners with the Brazilian Government to support investigations into arms trafficking, money laundering, child exploitation, and human trafficking. In 2022, the State Department Counter Terrorism Program also funded a Resident Legal Advisor to assist law enforcement, prosecutors, and the judiciary increase their capacity to combat terrorism related crimes.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) engages in a long-standing bilateral partnership with the Government of Brazil across several joint priorities, including biodiversity conservation in the Amazon, trilateral technical assistance for other countries in targeted areas, and technical assistance for private sector partnerships to promote best practices and resources to stimulate development solutions for the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable socioeconomic livelihoods of the Amazon.
- The Partnership for Conservation of Amazon Biodiversity (PCAB) is a multi-year (2014-2030), $130 million bilateral agreement with the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), the Ministry of Environment (MMA), the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), and the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI). The purpose of the partnership is to strengthen Brazil’s vast protected area systems, including Indigenous territories, to support sustainable forest-friendly value chains, and to foster private sector leadership and engagement in joint solutions.
- USAID works with Brazilian partners to advance innovative financing solutions for hard-to-reach forest and biodiversity-supportive businesses, and facilitate private-sector led collective action platforms, such as the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA), which includes 50+ companies (a mix of Brazilian, American, and international companies) that is generating private sector and market-led sustainable economic solutions designed to reduce deforestation, conserve biodiversity, and improve community well-being.
- The Amazon Biodiversity Fund (ABF) is a Brazilian impact investment fund that intends to raise $60 million in private capital. Launched in November 2019, the ABF was co-designed with support from USAID/Brazil and the Alliance of Biodiversity International and CIAT. The 11-year term fund intends to address inherent financial challenges by providing flexible, long-term, patient capital for sustainable businesses that seek transformational, positive impact on Amazon biodiversity and communities. Since it was launched, the fund closed deals with several Amazon impact businesses, including companies, and has obtained a second investor, the Dutch bank ASN. This is an important milestone that marks the beginning of the second fundraising phase of the ABF.
In addition to these lines of effort, USAID’s regional mission in Peru provides medium-to-long-term assistance to Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru to improve and facilitate the economic integration of Venezuelan migrants.
Brazil’s Membership in International Organizations
Brazil and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, the G-20, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. Brazil traditionally has been a leader in the inter-American community and is a member of the sub-regional MERCOSUL and PROSUL groups.
Principal U.S. embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.