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U.S., Brazil Agree to Trade Liberalization Measures

Friday, March 22, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

During a March 19 meeting in Washington, D.C., President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro agreed on the following measures to increase bilateral trade and investment.

Wheat. Brazil will implement a tariff-rate quota allowing for the annual duty-free importation of 750,000 tons of U.S. wheat, exempting such shipments from the normal 10 percent duty. Press sources note that Brazil agreed to a wheat TRQ when in joined the World Trade Organization in 1995 but failed to fully implement that commitment.

Pork. The two sides agreed to science-based conditions to allow for the importation of U.S. pork into Brazil. A note from the Center for Strategic and International Studies states that the U.S. “has been the world’s top pork exporter on average for over a decade” and sees Brazil as “a top potential export market.”

Beef. To allow for the resumption of imports of beef from Brazil, the U.S. agreed to expeditiously schedule a technical visit by its Food Safety and Inspection Service to audit Brazil’s raw beef inspection system as soon as it is satisfied with Brazil’s food safety documentation. The U.S. suspended all imports of fresh beef from Brazil in June 2017 after the discovery that food safety inspectors were being bribed.

Trusted Trader. A mutual recognition agreement on trusted trader programs will be negotiated.

WTO. Brazil will begin to forgo special and differential treatment (e.g., taking on less stringent obligations or seeking more time to implement WTO rules) in WTO negotiations, ostensibly by no longer self-identifying as a developing country. According to a Reuters article, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said this commitment will only apply to future negotiations.

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