President Obama’s visit to Brasilia the weekend of March 19- 21 presented recently elected Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff with an opportunity to set her country’s agenda for economics, defense, and international relations with the U.S., while President Obama was given a chance to promote key U.S. economic interests in Brazil.
More than 300 high profile business leaders from a wide range of industries accompanied Obama on the trip, indicating the importance of Brazil in upcoming western economic cooperation. The consumer market in Brazil is rapidly increasing by the day and Obama is interested in staking the U.S.’s claim in this rising power while it’s still early in its development stage. It is also in their mutual economic interest to collaborate against the rising Yuan, as both U.S. and Brazilian goods are being threatened by Chinese competition.
Right now the two countries have a window of opportunity to modify their foreign policy goals together, as the Rousseff administration is taking this transitional time to re-evaluate Brazil’s policies. The new administration has also been keeping a further distance from Middle East relations than their predecessors, making it possible for the U.S. to reset the tone of their relationship and re-determine the direction of their future international agenda now that Brazil is separating itself from U.S. engagements.
In its continuing attempt to remain independent from U.S. policies, Brazil did not make many commitments this past weekend. However, the visit represents Brazil’s willingness to include the U.S. in their decision-making process as well as their dedication to an independent foreign policy. For the United States, it emphasizes a commitment to Brazil ‘s new administration despite international crises occurring the world over.