Washington, D.C. – Today, the United States and Brazil signed a new protocol on trade rules and transparency. This protocol updates the 2011 Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (ATEC) with three new annexes, which contain the most modern provisions for customs management and trade facilitation, good regulatory practices and anti-corruption. The United States and China split this year on coronavirus, trade and Hong Kong. Shortly after a trade agreement was put in place in January, the global pandemic was declared in March, crippling economies around the world and putting pressure on national health systems. The Trump administration has often targeted China because of the virus – which is widely believed to have appeared in Wuhan late last year. Trump is looking for trade gains to convince voters that he can promote economic growth – in the face of the virus, U.S. GDP will fall by 4.3 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Beyond the economic fallout, Covid-19, under the Trump administration, has proved devastating for the United States, which has claimed the lives of more than 225,000 people to date. “There is a deep understanding throughout America that the American people enjoy a series of deeper and closer relationships with all our friends in the Western Hemisphere and South America, and it is not possible to have strong, capable and deep relationships without an anchor like Brazil,” said U.S.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The government has not yet released details of the agreement with Brazil, but it appears even smaller than the agreements signed with China and Japan. It focuses on facilitating trade or harmonizing the methods used by the two governments to process goods crossing their borders, with the aim of facilitating trade between countries for businesses. It will also reduce regulatory barriers and strengthen rules to root out corruption. It should be noted that the government`s mini-trade agreements, including the most recent ones with Japan and Brazil, have raised serious concerns from Democratic leaders in Congress about the executive`s circumvention of the role of Congress in trade negotiations. As a result, it is likely that Congress will require much greater oversight of the USTR, given that the price will be applied to all subsequent TPA laws after the expiration of the TPA Act next year. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro comments on the agreement: “This triple package will be able to reduce bureaucracy and strengthen our bilateral trade, which will extend positively to investment flows.” The new pact aims to remove trade barriers, strengthen regulation and fight corruption. The pact, presented on October 19 at the U.S.-Brazil Connect Summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, aims to boost trade between the two nations.

The announcement follows a series of other smaller trade agreements by the Trump administration, including with Japan and China. In February, Trump traveled to India to reach a similar deal, but he failed and the two have yet to reach a trade deal.