It is my pleasure to serve as the new chairman of the Brazil-U.S. Business Council as the organization commemorates its 40th anniversary this year. For 40 years, the Council has been the premier business organization working to promote policies that contribute to growing cooperation, bilateral trade and investment with Brazil.
The success of our efforts is reflected in the increased volume of trade between our two countries. Two-way trade between the United States and Brazil reached more than $108 billion in 2014, and U.S. exports to Brazil have grown 15 percent on an annual basis over the past decade. Meanwhile, we are seeing Brazilian firms in sectors ranging from agriculture to steel expanding throughout the United States, with investments totaling more than $93 billion in 2012. However, these figures could and should be much higher.
For this reason, one of the top priorities of the U.S. section of the Council in 2016 is to advocate, together with our partner organization in Brazil, the National Confederation of Industry (CNI), for a more strategic trade relationship between our two countries. The Council’s Trade Study offers data to support our premise that eliminating or substantially reducing barriers to trade with Brazil would have a positive impact on the U.S. economy. We look forward to working with CNI to disseminate the results of our analyses and advance dialogue with our respective governments on this business priority.
The past 40 years have borne witness to numerous economic and political cycles in both the United States and Brazil. Throughout this time, the Council has remained steadfastly committed to the bilateral partnership and to our belief that opportunities can present themselves during the most challenging times.
I look forward to collaborating with our member companies and partners to make progress on the Council’s goals in the year ahead.
Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty III
Brazil-U.S. Business Council, U.S. Section
Chairman and Co-Founder of McLarty Associates