US promises to trade with Brazil

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Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo guaranteed his Brazilian partner that trades of goods and services between the two countries will increase but made no mention of a conceivable respective free-trade deal.

“The majority of Brazil’s endeavors give the United States incredible confidence to collaborate in new ways. We will develop our exchange relationship that already represents for more than $100 billion every year,” Pompeo said at a joint press conference with Ernesto Araujo at the State Department on Friday, Efe news reported.

The US’s top negotiator hailed the solid partnership between President Donald Trump’s administration and the government of rightist Brazilian head of state Jair Bolsonaro as far as the economy and local security.

He likewise said Brazil was a key partner in defying the “man-made crisis in Venezuela and push back against tyrants in Cuba and Nicaragua.”

“Together we’re seizing the opportunity to cement a future of security, prosperity and democracy for our people and for the entire hemisphere,” Pompeo said.

For his part, Araujo said Brazil and the US have a “common vision, a common philosophy,” adding that their ties “can be and must be even stronger.”

He said the two administrations are trying to translate that vision into their economic exchanges and that that process is advancing very quickly and responds to the “huge expectations from our private sector and productive sector, which we’re seeing again in the area of security and defense.”

Neither Pompeo nor Araujo took questions from reporters and did not indicate the current state of bilateral free-trade negotiations.

In late July, Trump said he wanted to negotiate a trade deal with Brazil and praised Bolsonaro as a “great gentleman” with whom he has a “fantastic relationship.”

Brazil and the US started negotiating a trade deal at that time, but few details are known about those discussions.

In remarks to reporters on Thursday, Araujo said the talks are currently focused on establishing quotas for the exchange of specific goods, such as beef and steel, and that negotiators later will set the terms of a deal that eliminates or substantially lowers tariffs.

In 2011, Brazil and the US signed an agreement to facilitate exchanges of goods and services, but that trade pact did not end cross-border duties.

Trade between the US and Brazil amounted to $103.9 billion in 2018, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative.

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