Brazil US Brazil Commercial Dialogue Statement March 2015
13th Plenary U.S. - Brazil Commercial Dialogue Joint Statement, Washington, D.C. March 19, 2015
Kenneth Hyatt, Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce), and Daniel Godinho, Secretary of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC), are pleased to release the following joint statement, which outlines the results of the March 18-19, 2015, meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue in Washington, D.C.
Building upon the positive energy and momentum created by President Rousseff and Vice President Biden’s meeting in January 2015, and Minister Armando Monteiro and Secretary Penny Pritzker’s meeting in February 2015, we are pleased to announce a comprehensive, strategic agenda to guide our future work together. In order to continue strengthening the close commercial ties that Brazil and the United States share, and continue our collaboration in promoting an open trade environment, we are pleased to share the progress made under the Commercial Dialogue since it last met in February 2014 and announce plans for continued engagement through the Commercial Dialogue.
Building on Commercial Dialogue Successes
We are pleased with the results we have seen over the past year, including increased cooperation on trade facilitation, investment, regulatory engagement, and data exchanges; site visits in Brazil and the United States; increased cooperation between our standards and intellectual property agencies; and improved dialogue between our trade ministries. In addition, during the Commercial Dialogue, Secretary Godinho shared with Deputy Under Secretary Hyatt Brazil’s progress regarding labor rights in the textiles sector.
We commit to continue our cooperative work to improve overall economic and business relations between our two countries, and to encourage the public and private sectors of our respective countries to increase and diversify the bilateral flows of goods and services and investment in each other’s countries. Building upon the strong partnerships that have emerged, the Commercial Dialogue will look to the future with a focus on seven core themes:
- Standards and Regulatory Engagement
- Trade Facilitation
- Trade Statistics
- Intellectual Property Cooperation
- Industry and Investment
- Standards and Metrology
- Services and Supply Chains
With these overarching themes as a guide, the working groups will build upon ongoing efforts to open markets and cooperate, with a view of deepening U.S.-Brazil trade and investment ties that foster innovation, economic growth and job creation.
Standards and Regulatory Engagement
In August 2014, the U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA) and Brazilian Chamber of Foreign Trade (CAMEX), with support from MDIC, organized two regulatory coherence business roundtables on the importance of regulatory coherence in improving international trade and investment.
Commerce agreed to host a Brazilian delegation of regulatory experts in Washington, D.C., in the second half of 2015, where the Brazilian delegation will learn firsthand about the U.S. regulatory and rulemaking process. Commerce intends to reciprocate with a visit to Brasília also during the second half of 2015, to continue an open discussion with the business community on the importance of transparency and meaningful public participation in the regulatory process.
On March 17, 2015, MDIC and Commerce held the first-of-its-kind U.S.-Brazil Standards and Conformance Convergence Roundtable in Washington, D.C. This roundtable introduced U.S. and Brazilian standards stakeholders to each other, provided them an opportunity to share their interests, and worked to identify areas of mutual interest and potential cooperation. Private sector participants also heard MDIC and Commerce emphasize their support for cooperative efforts moving forward. As next steps, MDIC and Commerce will solicit the U.S. and Brazilian private sectors for specific proposals to this end, which will lead to increasing bilateral trade.
Commerce and MDIC are pleased with the memorandum of understanding signed by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) and the Brazilian Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Industry Association (ANFACER) to explore more closely the alignment of their respective conformity assessment schemes, with the objective of standardizing their certification processes. In addition, Commerce and MDIC support the signed proposal to create an online U.S.-Brazil standards portal, to be jointly developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Brazilian Technical Standards Association (ABNT) and Brazil’s National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (Inmetro).
Teams at Commerce and MDIC have worked together to share information about their respective trade facilitation programs. This work has involved technical experts from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CAMEX and the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations. The efforts also have entailed working with private sector partners to share progress towards full implementation of trade faciliation programs.
On March 19, 2015, Commerce and MDIC signed a memorandum of intent (MOI) 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.
With regard to merchandise goods trade statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and MDIC’s Department of Statistics and Export Support completed a preliminary reconciliation of trade statistics using 2012 and 2013 data, and presented a joint summary of efforts and analysis to date. Census and MDIC agreed to complete a final report, including trade statistics from 2014, by October 1, 2015.
ITA and MDIC are also coordinating exchanges between the U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and their Brazilian counterparts in MDIC regarding services trade statistics.
Intellectual Property Cooperation
Brazil’s National Institute for Intellectual Property (INPI) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have engaged in close collaboration on a variety of office IP administration issues, including the sharing of information in the areas of quality initiatives, telework, examination efficiencies, hiring and retention of examiners, and IT infrastructure. A new memorandum of understanding on office-to-office cooperation between the USPTO and INPI was memorialized and signed in November 2014.
INPI and USPTO will continue discussions regarding a possible agreement of a Patent Prosecution Highway pilot program. The two agencies also plan to offer training to patent examiners in particular technology areas and to trademark examiners on geographic-related issues. Finally, both entities will continue office-to-office engagement in all areas of IP office adminsitration in order to share experiences and enhance the existing close relationship.
Industry and Investment
In January 2015, ITA hosted MDIC officials in an informational exchange program created through the Dialogue, providing MDIC guests with tangible examples of how government and industry can work together and agreeing to collaborate on a series of work plans to expand bilateral trade and investment. In October 2014, ITA facilitated an invitation to Brazil’s Export Promotion and Investment Agency (Apex-Brasil) to participate as an observer during a groundbreaking impact investing trade mission, certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce, to the UK, Netherlands, and Switzerland. Through this innovative opportunity, Apex-Brasil was able to understand opportunities and challenges related to impact investing trade missions and the goals and objectives of institutional investors seeking to place impact capital. ITA also facilitated the attendance of a MDIC official at the Impact Capitalism Summit in Chicago in April 2014. The MDIC observer met with important stakeholders and learned how impact investing trade missions benefit the impact investing sector.
Following a successful U.S. Department of Commerce certified trade mission (CTM) to Western Europe, where Apex-Brasil participated as an observer, ITA is working with a trade mission organizer to encourage one or two Brazilian funds on an impact investing CTM in 2015. ITA also plans to leverage its research partnership with the Colorado School of Law and invite the Brazilian government to submit ideas for a research proposal that would be completed through the partnership. Moreover, Apex-Brasil and ITA will work together to provide information to U.S. investors willing to invest in Brazilian impact funds and in startups. Finally, the Dialogue’s industry and investment working group will provide complete work plans for the smart grid sector, and will develop work plans for new sectors, including foreign direct investment in research and development projects in Brazil.
Regarding cooperation between Apex-Brasil and SelectUSA, the groups 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, as already observed in recent events, such as the recent SelectUSA roadshow in Brazil and the SelectUSA Investment Summit in the United States.
Standards and Metrology
The U.S. National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) and Inmetro strive to be our respective countries’ ultimate reference points for measurement science and standards that support industry, science and technology enterprise, national and international commerce, and quality of life for our citizens. NIST and Inmetro have established strategic collaborations in several areas of measurement science, technology, and standards development and dissemination over the past several years. Specific gains have been made in the area of biofuels with the development of standards for bioethanol and biodiesel, which are now disseminated throughout the world. NIST and Inmetro have also helped small and medium sized companies in both countries 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 (time and frequency measurements), cybersecurity, smart grid, cyber-physical systems (including Internet of Things and Smart Cities) and developing additional industry guidelines.
ITA and MDIC are currently in the process of developing a value-chain-based methodology for identifying and addressing issues in specific sectors. They are preparing a draft work plan to pilot test the methodology in the areas of cold chains (refrigerated supply chains) and professional services. This initiative came about as a result of a successful program involving the U.S. and Brazilian private sectors and governments in September 2014 in São Paulo.
Moving forward, the group plans to build out a concrete agenda of topics of mutual interest for the upcoming year, drawing from the takeaways of the exchange visits with MDIC staff and the tests of value-chain analysis noted above. Both will also examine the possibilities of creating prospects and working collaboratively on topics of mutual interest, such as express delivery, professional services and possibly media and entertainment.
Looking to the Future
The United States and Brazil have a deep, multifaceted relationship. The U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue is a dynamic mechanism through which the United States and Brazil will continue to work together to foster increased cooperation, promote mutual goals, and develop a framework that allows U.S. and Brazilian companies to continue to grow, innovate, compete and prosper. We applaud the work done under the Commercial Dialogue, and commend the partnerships that have evolved between our ministries, which have resulted in increased cooperation and freer flow of goods and services between our two countries. We are committed to working through the Commercial Dialogue and other fora to foster partnerships and dialogue that will not only improve the flow of goods and services between our countries, but support efforts to strengthen our economies to the benefit of all our people.