Brazil and the United States are making progress toward a possible bilateral trade agreement, according to online news service Inside U.S. Trade in its edition Thursday, citing top officials from both countries at this week’s Brazil-U.S. Business Council Plenary in Washington. According to the online service, officials at the plenary outlined “areas in which private-sector interests might coordinate to help make a bilateral deal possible.” Among officials at the plenary was Ken Hyatt, U.S. Commerce Department Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade. Hyatt was quoted saying the current commercial dialog between the two countries “is the kind of work that is, in fact, a precursor to the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) negotiation.” His Brazilian counterpart, Foreign Trade Under Secretary Abrão Neto, said Brazil is focusing on & ldquo;ways to get to an FTA.” He was quoted saying Brazil is anxious to “add more building blocks to this agenda,” listing innovation, e-commerce and small businesses. A note of caution was introduced by John Murphy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President for International Policy, who was quoted saying, “In some ways, this is a difficult moment to be addressing what is admittedly a long-term vision for the bilateral relationship.” According to Inside U.S. Trade, uncertainties currently include ongoing U.S. negotiations with its partners under the North American Free Trade Agreement and Brazil’s sluggish economic recovery and 2018 presidential election.
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