US must do more to strengthen ties with Brazil-US trade official By Reuters

© . FILE PHOTO: General view of a tattered Brazilian flag, next to the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Jan. 8, 2021. REUTERS/Adriano Machado By Ana Mano SAO PAULO () -The Biden administration isn’t doing enough to hold a long- Myron Brilliant, head of the international affairs division of the US Chamber of Commerce, told a news conference in Sao Paulo on Thursday. “In my frank opinion, I don’t think the Biden administration is doing enough to focus on this region,” he said of the world’s ninth largest economy, adding that part of the reason is the US’s domestic agenda. Brilliant said the lack of US involvement in Latin America means “opportunities are not being developed (nor) long-term strategic plan in the way we would hope.” The absence of the US has paved the way for other partners to establish contacts and do business with Brazil. “What we’ve seen over the past decade is a significant increase in Chinese investment and engagement in the region,” Brilliant said. “We also see Russian involvement. We would say the US should be present.” The US is Brazil’s second most important trading partner after China. The difference is that Brazil has a trade surplus with the Asian country and a deficit with the US. Brazil and the US compete as exporters of agricultural commodities such as soy, meat and corn. Brazil had a $3.8 billion trade deficit with the US and a $4.7 billion surplus with China in the first quarter of the year, according to Brazilian government data. The US accounted for about 11% of Brazil’s total exports in the period, while China accounted for nearly 28%, the data shows. “Defining trade in terms of deficit and surplus is a mistake,” Brilliant said. “It is important for us that we have a level playing field.”

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