Last week Deputy
Secretary Rebecca Blank traveled
to Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro for the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum and other
events aimed at strengthening the economic and commercial ties between the two
The U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum was created in 2007 to bring
private sector leaders from both countries together to develop joint
recommendations on how to deepen our commercial ties, and to present those
recommendations to the U.S. and Brazilian governments. The Forum has identified
five areas as priorities: tax and trade issues; education and innovation;
infrastructure; energy; and aviation.
Deputy Secretary Blank served as the U.S. Government’s co-chair for the
CEO Forum along with Michael Froman, the Deputy National Security Advisor for
International Economic Affairs at the White House. They were joined by
their Brazilian co-chairs, Minister of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade
Fernando Pimentel and Presidential Chief of Staff Gleisi Hoffman.
meeting was led by about 20 CEOs from both countries, whose priorities for
improving the economic and commercial relationship between Brazil and the U.S.
set the agenda for the meeting. As one of the U.S. Government’s
co-chairs, Deputy Secretary Blank gave an update to the members of the CEO
Forum on the progress that the two governments made to implement the
recommendations that the CEOs made at their previous meeting last year.
The CEOs then led the main discussion and came up with several new
recommendations that will be formally released in the coming weeks,
- Calling upon the governments to take advantage of the
momentum from the recently-approved Tax Information Exchange Agreement
(TIEA) to take on additional tax issues that could eventually pave the way
for a Bilateral Tax Treaty.
- Continuing to make progress on Brazil’s participation
in the Global Entry Program, making it easier for Brazilians traveling to
the United States on business to get through immigration at U.S. airports.
- Continuing efforts to increase cooperation in the area
of infrastructure and take advantage of the U.S. infrastructure trade
mission, scheduled for May, to create opportunities for U.S. and Brazilian
companies to partner on infrastructure improvements.
- Continuing to cooperate on education and workforce
development issues by supporting programs like President Obama’s “100,000
Strong in the Americas” initiative and Brazil’s “Scientific Mobility
- Building upon the work of the Strategic Energy Dialogue
and involve the private sector in energy infrastructure and policy
- Building on cooperation between the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office (USPTO) and Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial
Property (INPI) to engage in more formal worksharing efforts to support
- Continuing work begun under the Aviation Partnership
Agreement to advance aviation cooperation and use the Aviation Partnership
as a model for other sectors.
Rio de Janeiro, Deputy Secretary Blank met with more business leaders and also delivered
remarks at a Columbia University event focused on innovation and economic
development which was part of the launch of the university’s new Global Center
in that city. She emphasized the importance of U.S.-Brazil
collaboration in areas such as infrastructure development, clean energy,
student exchanges, and more. Finally, she announced that U.S.-Brazil
partnerships would continue to grow in the near future due to a high-level,
infrastructure-focused trade mission to Brazil – as well as Colombia and
Panama – that will take place in mid-May.