With the largest consumer market and GDP in South America, Brazil is an excellent market for experienced U.S. exporters seeking to tap into its diversified economy. The United States is Brazil’s second largest trading partner due to a robust commercial relationship and a shared commitment to mutual prosperity. Despite strong local demand for U.S. brands and products, complex domestic regulatory and tax frameworks often present challenges to exporters. As a result, having an in-depth knowledge of local market trends and regulations is critical to achieving export success in Brazil.
Brazil possesses the third largest economy (US $1.92 trillion in 2022) and the second largest population (215 million) in the Western Hemisphere. Brazil’s geographic territory is larger than that of the contiguous United States, and business environments vary by region. A large portion of the population and economic activity is concentrated in Southeastern Brazil, which includes the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais. These states have traditionally served as the engines of economic growth through competitive industries such as manufacturing, agricultural production, mining, and energy. São Paulo is the country’s financial capital and its primary hub for international business activity.
In 2022, Brazil was the ninth largest export market for U.S. products and services, representing US$75.44 billion in exports, up 21.8% from 2021, according to the Department of Commerce. Important Brazilian industries for U.S. exporters include oil and gas, agricultural equipment, aerospace and manufacturing. However, U.S. exporters across a wide array of industries continue to achieve success as a result of Brazil’s diversified domestic market and demand for international products, as well as a favorable view of technology and brands coming from the United States.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took office in January 2023. Progress in the bilateral commercial relationship has been gradual but continuous over the last decade, given multiple channels for dialogue between U.S. and Brazilian government officials as well as the private sector. In February 2022, the commercial relationship took an important step forward when the U.S.-Brazil Protocol Relating to Trade Rules and Transparency entered into force, which includes new commitments on Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation, Good Regulatory Practices, and Anticorruption. These Protocols legally bind both governments to the commitments outlined in the three annexes.
In addition to being an attractive destination for U.S. exports, in 2022 Brazil was also the largest South American source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the United States, according to SelectUSA,the U.S. Government’s investment promotion program. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that the Brazilian stock of job-creating FDI in the United States stood at $30.6 billion in 2022 when measured by the market of the ultimate beneficial owner or UBO.
While Brazil may be a challenging market for many U.S. exporters at the outset, there is undoubtably potential for success for those willing to invest the time and resources necessary to understand and overcome the challenges of doing business within this geographically diverse, resource-rich, and economically dynamic country.
Political & Economic Environment: State Department’s website for background on the country’s political environment.