Brazil–US deals include social security, aviation, space

The new joint initiatives were unveiled yesterday in Brasília

Published in 27/06/2018 - 16:00 By Pedro Rafael Vilela - Brasília

As part of US vice-President Mike Pence’s official visit to Brazil, Brazilian President Michel Temer forged a number of deals with the US covering such areas as social security, commercial aviation, and the aerospace sector.

The new, joint initiatives were mentioned by Temer during the speech next to Pence at the Itamaraty Palace, seat of Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations.

O presidente Michel Temer e o vice-presidente do EUA, Mike Pence, durante declaração à imprensa, no Palácio Itamaraty.
 Michel Temer and Mike Pence in Brasília – Marcelo Camargo / Agência Brasil

In social security, Michel Temer inked an agreement that allows Brazilian workers living in the US and US nationals living in Brazil to add the amount of working years to retire or receive other benefits.

Brazil’s Social Security Secretariat believes the deal should benefit some 1.3 million Brazilians and over 35 thousand Americans.

Open Skies

Also yesterday, the Brazilian president signed the accord removing the limit of trade flights between Brazil and the US. Dubbed Open Skies, the initiative allows carriers to open an unlimited number of routes between the two countries.

Signed in 2011, the deal had to be ratified by the Brazilian Congress. Under the agreement, the number of flights on existing rules is expected to increase, as well as the amount of new routes between American and Brazilian cities. The new rule does not apply for US firms in Brazil’s domestic market, and vice-versa.

Aerospace

Another US–Brazil deal, approved by the Senate in March, is linked to the peaceful space activities and will enable the development of bilateral cooperation for space flights and related topics.

Temer also mentioned agreements between the two governments in the fields of defense, and the Permanent Forum on Public Security—slated to inaugurate in May—aimed at spearheading the cooperation plans between the pubic security agencies in the two countries.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Mike Pence’s visit marks the resumption of negotiations on the Technological Safeguards deal, which authorizes the commercial use of the Alcântara Aerospace Launch Base, in Maranhão state.

Due to its favorable position near the Equator, the facility represents a significant amount of fuel spared in satellite launches. The US owns most of the technology used in the construction and launch of satellites.

Tariffs on steel

In his address, Temer also mentioned the US decision to impose export tariffs on steel and aluminum produced in Brazil, a measure in effect since March. The rate can reach 25% and affects goods sold by Brazilian companies. “Vice-President Pence took the initiative to raise the issue regarding steel and aluminum, and, of course, we agreed to work further on the elimination of trade barriers between our countries,” he stated.

Bilateral trade

During the meeting—the first high-level visit of a representative from Trump’s administration since Temer took office—the two leaders highlighted the good relations between the two nations. “The numbers are eloquent. Our trade totaled over $51 billion last year, and the US is the main destination of Brazilian manufactured goods,” Temer noted.

He further remarked that Brazilian investment in the US economy generate upwards of 100 thousand direct jobs in the US, Brazil’s second largest trade partner. Last year, Brazil exported $26.8 billion to the US and imported $24.8 billion—a surplus of $2 billion.

“The US was the first nation in the world to recognize Brazil’s independence, over 200 years ago. And today, we’re the two biggest economies and democracies in the region,” Pence said, paying compliments to the initiatives by the Brazilian government to cap public spending and resume the process of commercial opening in the country.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Nádia Franco / Augusto Queiroz

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