Brazilian Tariffs: Test for President Obama’s National Export Initiative

Anthony B. Kim /

Brazil Imposes Tariffs on United States

In a retaliatory response to the U.S. government’s unwillingness to eliminate domestic cotton subsidies, Brazil has announced higher tariffs on over 100 American goods ranging from cars to ketchup.

Trade issues are central to the bilateral relationship between Brazil and the United States. Brazil is an attractive export destination for U.S. manufacturing, parts and capital equipment sectors. The United States has been the largest source of Brazil’s imports in these sectors, with the U.S. producers responsible for about a 15 percent share. The already thriving Brazilian market for U.S. exports has great potential to be even stronger, and could provide a blueprint for future U.S. trade with the region and the world. Indeed, the Brazilian market, with consumer spending growing rapidly, should be a poster child for President Obama’s National Export Initiative, a plan unveiled in the 2010 State of the Union address that promised to double U.S. exports over the next five years and support 2 million new American jobs.