Today, US National Security Advisor John Bolton will travel to Rio de Janeiro to meet with Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.
Though countries have a tenuous strategic alliance, political instability in Brazil has made the US wary of allying with any one leader.
However, Mr Bolsonaro’s resemblance to President Trump—both in terms of style and political opinions—suggests more alignment between Washington and Brasilia. With greater cooperation, the US would find itself with a partner in the Americas, where it has recently struggled to exert influence, while Brazil would gain a strong ally in increasing its influence over global institutions, such as the IMF.
Support from Mr Trump could give Bolsonaro the political capital to push back against China. However, given more than a fifth of Brazil’s exports are destined to China, Mr Bolsonaro would do best to avoid substantial disruptions to this relationship.
With both Trump and Bolsonaro at the helm, all signs point towards a new era of US-Brazilian relations. Expect today’s meeting to focus on increasing security cooperation to confronting regional socialist states, namely Venezuela and Cuba.
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Taylor provides insight into trade and technology, with a particular focus on North America and the Asia Pacific. He also serves as a copy editor on The Daily Brief.