Relations between the United States and Brazil could be warming up again both diplomatically and economically. The Obama administration reextended its invitation to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff for an official state visit to Washington in 2016. Two years ago, Rousseff backed out of an invitation to an October 2013 state visit in light of revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency monitored her personal communications. But she’s since expressed a desire to move on and reschedule the trip, according to Reuters, and earlier this month U.S. Vice President Joe Biden phoned her with the offer of a 2016 state visit, or a less formal—albeit high-profile—trip later this year. While a trip in the current year may have less fanfare, positive news, especially economically, could be a boon for Rousseff, who’s facing unrest in her country. This week, a poll showed that three in five Brazilians would favor her impeachment due to her party’s involvement in the Petrobras corruption scandal, and new economic figures project that this year the Brazilian economy will face its worst contraction in the past quarter century.
The diplomatic invitation comes on the heels of the joint release of a Memorandum of Intent for trade facilitation by the U.S. Department of Commerce and its Brazilian counterpart late last week, which could pave the way for new opportunities and investments in both the public and private sectors. Both developments are encouraging signs for observers eager to see trade between the hemisphere’s two largest economies pick up. China surged to become the top destination for Brazilian exports in the last decade, and recently overtook the United States as the second-largest importer to Brazil as well, behind only the European Union. Notwithstanding, U.S.-Brazilian total trade isn’t slowing, but increased a full 83 percent in the last decade.
See below for more key figures as these two heavyweights prepare to step up ties.