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Brazil and US start negotiations for trade agreement

Foreign trade

Commitment was sealed in Brasilia during a meeting of Economy Minister Paulo Guedes with US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes and United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross began negotiations on Wednesday for an ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement between the two largest economies on the American continent.

Speaking to journalists at the end of the hearing, which was closed to the press, Minister Paulo Guedes stated that Brazil was officially starting negotiations with the US. "Brazil has entered the field," said the minister.

“When we finished the meeting, our secretary Marcos Troyjo asked Secretary Ross: Are we officially in negotiations? And the answer was: certainly. We want that, "Guedes reported. Prior to the meeting at the Ministry of Economy, Secretary Wilbur Ross attended a hearing at Planalto Palace with President Jair Bolsonaro.

Guedes also said that it is natural to increase the interest of more mature economies for the large Brazilian domestic market. "We have been out of these big trade deals for decades. So when Brazil announces that it wants to increase its degree of integration, what happens is that the ball is rolling. Then came the Americans to talk. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was a businessman with investments in various parts of the world. I already knew him from the private sector when he was going to New York to talk about investments. It was an easy and very constructive conversation, "he said.

According to the minister, the orientation of presidents Bolsonaro and Trump is that Brazil and the US should get closer and integrate their economies. "Global trade is integrated, but Brazil has been left out. Brazil is a very large potential market. When Brazil shows interest in returning at a time when the world needs this type of market, we are in a very interesting position," he said. Guedes.

Commercial exchange

The Special Secretary for Foreign Trade and International Affairs at the Ministry of Economy, Marcos Troyjo, said it is an important opportunity for Brazil, as our trade with the US, according to him, is far from its potential.

For Troyjo, Brazil was trapped in some "pitfalls" such as the old import substitution doctrines that did not allow the country to advance in its relationship with the world's largest economy. Which, according to him, must change from now on.

"We now have to translate the will of both governments," said Troyjo. "Yesterday, President Trump strongly voiced the desire to formalize an agreement with Brazil. The country is part of a customs union that is Mercosur. This means that if we want to translate this common desire for both governments to have an agreement that involves tariffs, it will be necessary from Brazil for this negotiation to be accompanied by our Mercosur partners.If the type of agreement does not involve tariffs - such as trade facilitation, intellectual property, regulatory convergence, telecommunications - it may be a bilateral agreement, country by country. Today, in our conversation with Secretary Ross we agreed to engage in both possibilities, "he said.