Author: M. Angeles Villarreal,
Brazil is the United States? twelfth largest global trading partner and second largest Latin American trading partner. Bilateral trade increased significantly in the last 15 years, despite differences in trade policy. Brazil?s trade policy has focused more regionally on South America, while that of the United States has emphasized the negotiation of free trade agreements (FTAs) throughout the world. The United States has had a bilateral merchandise trade surplus with Brazil since 2008 and a services trade surplus since at least 1992. Bilateral merchandise trade fell in 2015 due to a drop in commodity prices, specifically oil, as well as the recession in Brazil. With Brazil?s currency ? the real ? depreciating amid one of the country?s worst recessions, there could be opportunities for an opening and deepening of U.S.-Brazil trade relations. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff?s impeachment proceedings and developments in neighboring countries, such as the election of trade-friendly Mauricio Macri in Argentina, may influence Brazil to reconsider its inward-looking trade policy and pursue a more-open trade strategy, which could have implications for U.S.-Latin America regional trade relations.