Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Brazilian President Lula da Silva

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February 21, 2024

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Matthew Miller:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva today in Brasilia, Brazil. Secretary Blinken expressed U.S. commitment to partner with Brazil on its G20 presidency agenda to combat hunger and poverty, mobilize against the climate crisis, and make global governance more effective.  Secretary Blinken highlighted the upcoming U.S.-Brazil bicentennial anniversary in May 2024 when our two countries will celebrate the benefits of 200 years of strong political, economic, and cultural ties.

Secretary Blinken commended President Lula for Brazil’s role in de-escalating tensions between Guyana and Venezuela over the Essequibo region.  Secretary Blinken underscored our position that Nicolas Maduro must return to implementation of the Barbados electoral roadmap agreement to ensure competitive presidential elections in 2024. He also recognized Brazil’s long-standing support for the people of Haiti and reiterated the urgent need for international assistance to improve the security situation in Haiti.

The Secretary discussed U.S. engagement on the conflict in Gaza, including working urgently with partners to facilitate the release of all hostages and to increase humanitarian assistance and improve protections for Palestinian civilians.  Secretary Blinken thanked President Lula for Brazil’s participation in Ukraine’s Peace Formula process.

Secretary Blinken commended President Lula for defending workers’ rights through the U.S.-Brazil Partnership for Workers Rights.  He thanked President Lula for Brazil’s global leadership on climate, including Brazil’s pledge to end deforestation in the Amazon by 2030.  He noted the importance of strengthening cooperation on critical minerals with Brazil, including through the Minerals Security Partnership. The Secretary welcomed President Lula’s interest in deepening cooperation on clean energy and diversification of global supply chains as well as continued engagement on the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality.


U.S. Relations with Brazil


Secretary Antony J. Blinken’s visit to Brasilia, Brazil on February 20, 2024, underscores the United States’ commitment to supporting Brazil’s goals during its Presidency of the Group of 20 (G20).  Secretary Blinken will meet with Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva in advance of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Rio de Janeiro.  The Secretary will reaffirm our mutual interest in securing international peace, recognizing workers’ rights, promoting racial equity, and ending deforestation.

U.S.-Brazil Relations

This year marks the bicentennial of U.S.-Brazil 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 U.S.-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, health, and security cooperation.

U.S.-Brazil Economic Relations

Brazil is the world’s eleventh-largest economy, and the United States is Brazil’s second-largest trading partner.  In 2022, two-way trade in goods and services was $120.7 billion.

Brazil’s main imports from the United States are industrial and energy-related products such as refined fuel, natural gas, fertilizers, aircraft, and medical instruments.  Brazil’s primary export products to the United States are crude oil, aircraft, iron and steel, coffee, and wood pulp.

  1. exports to Brazil support nearly 130,000 U.S. jobs and U.S. private sector data shows that Brazilian exports to the U.S. support more than 500,000 jobs in Brazil.

According to the Brazilian Central Bank, U.S. foreign direct investment in Brazil totaled $191.6 billion in 2021, by far the most of any

The United States and Brazil seek to expand the bilateral Agreement on Trade and Economic Partnership (ATEC) to spur more trade and investment.

U.S.-Brazil Relations on Human Rights

Since 2015, the two countries have engaged through the U.S.-Brazil Global Human Rights Working Group Dialogue on key multilateral and bilateral issues. At the most recent working group dialogue in February 2022, the United States and Brazil discussed better alignment within the United Nations as well as key bilateral issues, 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.

In May 2023, the Governments of Brazil and the United States relaunched the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality (JAPER), fulfilling the February 2023 pledge of Presidents Biden and Lula to reinvigorate JAPER as part of their commitment to addressing racial and ethnic inequities in both countries.

In September 2023, Presidents Biden and Lula launched the Partnership for Worker’s Rights, the first joint U.S.-Brazil global initiative to advance the rights of working people around the world. With this new initiative, the United States intends to strengthen and expand existing bilateral cooperation on these issues and to enhance coordination with U.S. and Brazilian labor stakeholders and the International Labour Organization to address some of the most salient challenges facing working people around the world.

U.S.-Brazil Climate Engagement

Brazil has one of the cleanest power generation matrixes in the world, with a heavy reliance on hydroelectric power as well as growing solar and wind capacity.  More than 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest – a globally-critical carbon sink – lies within Brazil’s borders.

Although deforestation rates have increased in the last decade, the Lula administration committed to ending deforestation by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

The United States applauds Brazil’s success in reducing by half deforestation in the Amazon in 2023.

The United States currently provides technical and financial support through a variety of means, including USAID programming, the U.S.-Brazil Energy Forum, and several dialogues focused on the clean energy transition.

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, sports, energy, health, agriculture, science and technology, English language training, and innovation.

More than 60,000 youth, students, scholars, teachers, and professionals have participated in cultural and educational exchanges between the United States and Brazil.

Forty-two EducationUSA centers help Brazilian high school and university students access opportunities to study in the United States.

U.S.-Brazil Technology and Defense Cooperation

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 2015 U.S-Brazil Defense Cooperation Agreement, a range of security cooperation agreements and initiatives promote joint exercises and facilitate sharing of sophisticated capabilities and technologies.

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 between U.S. and Brazilian defense technology companies.

The draft Reciprocal Defense Procurement Agreement (RDPA) was released by Brazil for a 60-day public comment period in early February 2024; the RDPA would generate economic and security benefits for both countries.

U.S. Assistance to Brazil

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureaus of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) and Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Forest Service, and other partners, provide law enforcement and justice sector training for Brazilian counterparts to support their efforts to combat nature crimes that impact the United States, Brazil, and the region.

The U.S. government also employs a variety of INL programs to build the capacity of Brazilian law enforcement partners.  INL-funded training led by the Drug Enforcement Agency, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and other partners develops Brazil’s capacity to improve citizen security, interdict drugs, and counter the expansion of Brazil-based transnational crime organizations that threaten U.S. security and prosperity.

The U.S. government also provides security assistance to military education institutions within Brazil’s Ministry of Defense. For example, the Global Defense Reform Program has cultivated a long-term partnership with Brazil’s Superior Defense College and continues to strengthen its institutional capacity and curriculum.

Since FY 2017, the U.S. government has provided more than $3.6 billion in humanitarian, economic, development, and health assistance to protect and assist Venezuelans throughout the region, of which more than $178 million has supported Venezuelans inside Brazil.

USAID engages in a long-standing bilateral partnership with the Government of Brazil across several joint priorities, including biodiversity conservation in the Amazon, 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.

Brazil’s Membership in International Organizations

Brazil and the United States share a commitment to multilateral engagement through many international organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, the G20, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization.

For the last two years, Brazil has partnered with the United States to provide pre-deployment training to the Malawi Defense Force Battalion deploying to the peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their trainers have enhanced pre-deployment training and increased Malawi’s performance in the mission.

In 2023, Brazil held the Presidency of the Latin American Association of Training Centers for Peacekeeping Operations (ALCOPAZ). Under Brazil’s leadership, ALCOPAZ developed an Environmental Management in Peace Operations course, which it offered regionally in September.

Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation

Brazil is an active member and positive voice in the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation, a White House initiative launched on September 18, 2023. The 38-country Partnership enables Atlantic coastal states to collaborate on common challenges to advance a peaceful, stable, prosperous, open, safe, and cooperative Atlantic region and promote a healthy, sustainable, and resilient Atlantic resources.

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