WASHINGTON – Today, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves concluded his first official trip to Brazil. Over the course of the visit, which took place between May 15-19, the Deputy Secretary led the largest trade mission to the South America region since the onset of the pandemic and advanced key Biden-Harris Administration and Department priorities through a series of engagements with Brazilian government officials and private sector leaders.
Deputy Secretary Graves led 67 U.S. companies—83 percent of which are small and medium-sized enterprises—to São Paulo for the start of the 2022 South America Trade Mission. In São Paulo, he opened the trade mission and facilitated a dialogue with private sector leaders about the global infrastructure initiative launched by President Biden and G7 partners last year. He also met with key industry representatives, including Josue Gomes da Silva, President of the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo, and the membership of the American Chamber of Commerce in Brazil, where he emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Brazil economic and commercial relationship and sought input on how the U.S. and Brazil can collaborate to improve the business and trade environment. In his meeting with members of AmCham Brazil, the Deputy Secretary launched ITA’s new Climate Plan for Brazil, which seeks to address the climate crisis through policy cooperation and trade promotion. Graves also facilitated a roundtable discussion with tech startups in Brazil to learn more about startup culture and the environment in Brazil and to discuss opportunities for Brazilian tech startups to explore opportunities in the United States through the Commerce Department’s SelectUSA program.
In Brasilia, the Deputy Secretary met with several government officials from the Ministries of Economy; Itamaraty (Foreign Affairs); Communications; and Science, Technology, and Innovation to discuss the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum and key Biden Administration and Department of Commerce policy priorities. In his meetings, the Deputy Secretary discussed progress made on trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, and the implementation of the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation Protocol ahead of the next U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue scheduled to take place in July. He expressed interest in partnering with the government of Brazil to identify digital infrastructure needs that could be met by the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Initiative. He also congratulated his counterparts on Brazil’s successful 5G spectrum auction and expressed interest in working with them to ensure that the country’s networks are safe, secure, and interoperable.
While meeting with the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, the Deputy Secretary, Minister Paulo Alvim, and Dr. Osvaldo Moraes, the Director of the Ministry’s National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters (CEMADEN), signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and CEMADEN on cooperation in drought monitoring and early warning. NOAA and CEMADEN intend to work together to improve scientific understanding of drought and its impacts and to develop an operational drought early warning system in Brazil. This collaboration is expected to enhance and maximize both countries’ capabilities in these areas; to encourage joint efforts to resolve common problems; and to promote data compatibility.
“This trip to Brazil exemplifies the importance that the U.S. Government, the Biden-Harris Administration, and especially all of us at the Department of Commerce, place on the U.S.-Brazil economic and commercial relationship,” Deputy Secretary Graves said. “I appreciated the opportunity to support U.S. exporters, hear from my Brazilian counterparts, and engage with the business community. Over the course of this trip, I’ve gathered a lot of valuable input on what Commerce can do to strengthen ties and take our commercial relationship to new heights.”