Senior Republican senator Marco Rubio has urged the White House to waste no time in boosting relationship with Brazil, saying the new President of the South American country does not hate America unlike his predecessors.
In an opinion piece posted on the CNN website, the former presidential candidate wrote that Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s new President, could be an ideal ally in addressing the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.
The United States should support Brazil’s goal of joining the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) by increasing bilateral trade and investment, he said.
“By supporting Brazil’s ascension to the OECD, the United States can help shape the country’s future market-based plans and stabilize the economy,” Rubio wrote.
Brazil’s geographic location and a clean track record in protecting foreign intellectual property makes it a perfect place to develop a strong space industry. Brazil can quickly grow into a small satellite launch market, he said.
Bilateral trade between the two countries was worth US$100 billion in 2017.
Brazil and the US, Rubio said, can also capitalize on their energy resources and technology know-how, helping many regional countries end their heavy reliance on Venezuelan oil.
Such a partnership will likely increase cooperation and technology sharing, he added.
He harshly criticized Bolsonaro’s predecessors, accusing them of inflation and increased poverty rates in the country. He also called on the Donald Trump administration to support Brazil in its task of managing the humanitarian crisis resulting from the arrival of Venezuelan immigrants.
Bolsonaro has often said that he would be a friend of the US and that Brazil would not benefit much from its relationship with China.
Even Rubio has warned Brazil against its closer relationship with China, saying that “Brazil’s cultural and democratic values naturally much more aligned with the United States”.