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Remarks by Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross at the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum


Thank you, Minister Braga Netto, for that kind introduction. And a warm welcome to my colleagues, Senior Director Nels Nordquist, Minister Araújo, and Ambassadors Todd Chapman and Nestor Forster. My thanks also to the Forum’s Brazilian Co-Chairs Ministers Braga Netto and Paulo Guedes, for hosting this year’s discussion.

I am grateful to the seventeen CEOs joining us today virtually. We value your time and input — because all of us in the U.S. Government know that it is essential for our countries to deepen our commercial ties. I am looking forward to hearing your feedback during this Forum and updates on your experiences in the Brazilian market.

The world has fundamentally changed since we last met in November to discuss this Forum’s detailed recommendations. But despite the challenges we’ve faced this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to make progress on the strategies we set forth for growing investment, sales, and jobs for thousands of workers in both our countries.

Trade and investment between our nations is on a strong upward trajectory, with two-way trade in goods totaling $73.7 billion in 2019, up more than $3 billion over 2018.  American companies in 2019 maintained a total stock of FDI in Brazil of an impressive $81 billion, an increase of more than $2 billion from the previous year. And Brazilian companies last year invested more than $45 billion in the United States, employing more than 85,000 American workers.

Based on this Forum’s 2019 recommendations, our nations have also made advancements through the U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue, U.S.-Brazil Energy Forum, and U.S.-Brazil Defense Industry Dialogue in the areas of: good regulatory practices, standards and conformity assessment, and regulatory cooperation in the Digital, Health, Energy, and Space sectors. Per our commitment to the Forum’s excellent recommendations, the Commercial Dialogue hosts regular GRP exchanges that bring together stakeholders from across both governments, including the central coordinating bodies, regulators, and the private sector.

The exchanges are designed to support Brazil’s implementation of its Economic Freedom and Regulatory Agencies law in addition to supporting ongoing negotiations under the ATEC. We plan to continue to meet every 4 to 6 weeks to share experiences and best practices for GRPs as Brazil implements its new requirements and works to build regulator capacity. I applaud Brazil for the many important reforms it is undertaking in the area of regulatory practices, including the four recent decrees your government published.

We are also working to include GRP discussions on the agenda for the upcoming Summit of the Americas in the fall of 2021 and will look to Brazil as a leader for advancing these discussions more broadly across the region.

And in the area of digital trade, through the Commercial Dialogue’s Trade and the Digital Economy working group, we were pleased to host a workshop with the U.S.-Brazil Business Council and the government of Brazil focused on best practices in the area of Artificial Intelligence. We are now in the process of planning our next workshop focused on the Internet of Things.

In addition, the Commerce and State Departments recently organized an exchange between the FCC and ANATEL on WiFi 6 standards. During this dialogue, the FCC explained the benefits of the U.S. approach, which uses the entire 6Ghz band.

We were pleased on August 27, when the Government of Brazil published the regulatory structure of the National Data Protection Authority. Once established, ANPD will regulate the provisions of the General Data Protection Law. And when the ANPD directors are in place, we look forward to holding a cross-border data flows and interoperability workshop in Brasilia, in partnership with the government of Brazil. 

I am eager for more discussion on these topics later in this afternoon’s program. I thank you all for joining this virtual forum today. And I look forward to hearing insights and suggestions from the CEOs and sharing with you our notable progress addressing your recommendations, as well as some of the next steps we have planned.

Thank you again for your continued civic engagement. Your devotion to our special bilateral ties is what makes the relationship between our two countries so dynamic and so successful.