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Trade Facilitation, Services, Regulations Among Areas of Focus for U.S. and Brazil

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The 12th U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue saw the two sides reach an agreement on trade facilitation and agree to focus future talks on core themes such as standards, regulations, intellectual property rights and other issues.

Trade Facilitation. The U.S. and Brazil signed a memorandum of intent on trade facilitation to support trade growth and business competitiveness. The MOI seeks to leverage the private sector’s enthusiasm, prioritization and desire to work on trade facilitation, thereby advancing public-private partnerships that increase technical border management expertise, support bilateral trade and reduce costs for businesses.

Standards and Regulatory Engagement. The International Trade Administration and the Brazilian Chamber of Foreign Trade organized two roundtables in August 2014 on the importance of regulatory coherence in improving international trade and investment. In the second half of 2015 a Brazilian delegation of regulatory experts will visit Washington, D.C., to learn about the U.S. regulatory and rulemaking process and the ITA will visit Brasília to continue a discussion with the business community on the importance of transparency and meaningful public participation in the regulatory process. The first U.S.-Brazil Standards and Conformance Convergence Roundtable was held March 17 in Washington. The two sides support a proposal to create an online U.S.-Brazil standards portal, to be jointly developed by the American National Standards Institute, the Brazilian Technical Standards Association and Brazil’s National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology.

Trade Statistics. A preliminary reconciliation of trade statistics using 2012 and 2013 data has been completed and a final report, including trade statistics from 2014, will be submitted by Oct. 1. There will also be exchanges of government officials regarding services trade statistics.

Intellectual Property Cooperation. A new MOU on cooperation between Brazil’s National Institute for Intellectual Property and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was signed in November 2014. INPI and USPTO will continue discussions regarding a possible agreement on a Patent Prosecution Highway pilot program. They also plan to offer training to patent examiners in particular technology areas and to trademark examiners on geographic-related issues.

Industry and Investment. Brazil’s Export Promotion and Investment Agency and SelectUSA have developed a joint service plan that will provide customized support to companies willing to invest in strategic sectors in the United States for the next three years. In parallel, the groups will continue to support each other on events covering mutual attraction of foreign direct investment in both the United States and Brazil.

Standards and Metrology. The U.S. National Institute of Standards & Technology and Inmetro have established strategic collaborations in measurement science, technology, and standards development and dissemination over the past several years. Among other things, they have helped small and medium-sized companies access standards requirements through the WTO Inquiry Point and the development of industry guides. Future efforts will address strategic collaboration on metrology and standards for financial transactions, cybersecurity, smart grid, cyber-physical systems and developing additional industry guidelines.

Services. ITA and MDIC are developing a value chain-based methodology for identifying and addressing issues in specific sectors and preparing a draft work plan to pilot test the methodology in the areas of cold chains (refrigerated supply chains) and professional services. Moving forward, the two will examine the possibilities of working collaboratively on topics of mutual interest, such as express delivery, professional services and possibly media and entertainment.

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