Brazil and United States Sign Unprecedented Military Agreement

Text needs to go through Congress and provides partnerships supported by US$ 96 billion fund

São Paulo

Brazil and the United States signed an unprecedented military agreement that, if fully exploited, could help open the world's largest defense market to the domestic industry.

The agreement, known by the acronym RDT&E (English acronym for research, development, testing, and evaluation), will be signed next week, during the visit of President Jair Bolsonaro to Miami.

Politically, it will serve for Bolsonaro to say that his automatic alignment to the USA is paying off.

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro and U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands during a bilateral meeting at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque -/File Photo - REUTERS

In reality, RDT&E started to be negotiated by the American initiative in 2017, under the government of Michel Temer (MDB). Still, the rapprochement between Bolsonaro and Trump accelerated the negotiations.

In March last year, Brazil received the status of a privileged ally outside NATO (the Western military alliance). That in itself does not mean anything without specific treaties, and that gap should start to be filled by RDT&E.

The agreement, being international, needs to be ratified by the Congresses of the two countries. The expectation at the Itamaraty is that it will proceed quickly, in the style of the safeguards text, which will allow the United States to launch rockets from the Alcântara (MA) base in about six months.

This optimistic view will depend on the Parliament amid political conflict with Bolsonaro and paralyzed as of July, due to municipal election campaigns. 

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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