Among the debates on the environment, patents and competition, the American ambassador, Todd Chapman, said that the commercial relationship between Brazil and the United States is “mature” and that both countries can move forward together in the expansion of agribusiness, despite being competitors in several markets.
Chapman participated in a debate on the forum “Super Agro Brasil 2021“, organized by EXAM this Thursday, 8 (see the complete schedule and the panels happening at this moment).
In his speech, the ambassador stated that Brazil and the USA are historical partners in the development of science and technology in agriculture. He also cited Brazil’s “green revolution” in the 1960s and 1970s, which greatly increased the productivity of Brazilian agriculture, and the collaboration of the USA in the formation of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa).
“Our American companies are here, sometimes for more than 100 years, working with Brazilians in very strong partnerships,” said Chapman.
On environmental preservation in Brazil and its relationship with agribusiness, one of the most remembered themes in Brazilian foreign policy at the moment, Chapman said that the subject will be a priority in the Biden government. “It will be a very important issue for our foreign policy in the Biden administration, there is no doubt about that.”
The ambassador said that the new American Secretary of Agriculture of the Joe Biden administration, Tom Vilsack, recently spoke with the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Tereza Cristina, and that there are working groups between Brazil and the USA working regularly on issues related to agribusiness.
Chapman stated that he understands that more than 90% of Brazilian soy does not come from the Amazon, for example, but that it is important that a minority that breaks the rules in the agricultural sector does not cause the whole sector to suffer a bad image.
“But let’s talk clearly: it is already causing problems”, he said, about environmental issues and the image of Brazil abroad. “It is very important that some do not earn everyone’s reputation.”
The USA is Brazil’s second largest trading partner, behind China, and the third in the agricultural sector, behind the European Union bloc. Last year, there were 21.4 billion dollars in Brazilian exports to the Americans (11% of all that Brazil sold) and 27.9 billion in imports.
Last year, the United States accounted for about 7% of Brazilian agribusiness exports. Cellulose, green coffee and ethyl alcohol were the most shipped products to the North American territory, according to the Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil (CNA) based on information from the Ministry of Economy.
“Sometimes we cooperate a lot, sometimes we compete in third markets. There is no problem,” he said. “The future of our relationship in agriculture is bright, it has much more area to grow.”
See the highlights of the Super Agro 2021
One of the points addressed by the ambassador was the advancement of technology development in the sector. “Anyone can export commodities, but the secret is how to benefit from these products,” he said, saying that the United States and Brazil are partners in the import and export of products with added value. “If there are only commodities in your trade, it reflects that there is no evolution in the relationship,” he said.
Chapman also talked about patents in Brazil and the USA. The ambassador believes that the two countries are leaders in this type of research in agribusiness, but that they need to work together in international bodies to guarantee the defense of patents in the sector.
The Super Agro event continues throughout Thursday 8. See the full program.