By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – As worldwide reaction started to appear in the global media on the stunning victory of Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States, Brazilian officials also spoke up on Wednesday about possible changes in the trade relations between the two countries. While some voiced concern about some of Trump’s campaign promises, others celebrated the result.

Brazil,Brazil's  Foreign Affairs Minister, José Serra, speaks about victory of Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States, photo by Marce
Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Minister, José Serra, speaks about victory of Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States, photo by Marcello Casal Jr/Agência Brasil.

At a news conference in Brasilia, Brazilian foreign minister Jose Serra said that he hoped that the economic protectionist stance demonstrated by the American president-elect during the campaign would not materialize.

In an official release, Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Office (Itamaraty) reiterated its desire to maintain close ties with the United States. “These two great nations of the Americas share similarities that value and guide bilateral relations. We are multiethnic societies, inspired by democratic values and respect for human rights, in search of prosperity, freedom, justice and dignity for all,” said the statement.

Brazil’s Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC) Minister, Marcos Pereira, admitted however that the protectionist speech of the new president of the United States, is somewhat worrisome. “That’s a concern, yes. He [Trump] has debated this theme a lot, he has expressed himself over and over on the subject,” he told reporters after an event at the Federation of Industries of Rio de Janeiro (Firjan).

Minister Pereira, pointed out, though, that this increased protectionism is not an ‘American invention’ but rather a global issue. “The increase in protectionism that has been seen in some countries in recent times is an issue being discussed in the WTO [World Trade Organization], the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the G-20.

With the position of the president-elect in the US, protectionism should gain more relevance at the discussions in international organizations,” he said. Nonetheless, the official said he hoped, despite the expected slowdown in bilateral accords, negotiations will ‘move forward and not backwards’.

Brazil,Right-wing Congressional Representative Jair Bolsonaro, one of the Brazilians happy with Trump's victory,
Right-wing Congressional Representative Jair Bolsonaro, one of the Brazilians happy with Trump’s victory, photo by Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil.

According to the MDIC the United States is Brazil’s second largest trading partner receiving approximately 20 percent of Brazilian exports and totaling in 2015 US$24.2 billion.

For Brazilian officials, the relation between the two countries, at times strained during the Rousseff Administration, may actually improve. Foreign Affairs Minister Serra, noted that unlike other Latin American countries the current Brazilian administration did not take sides during the US presidential campaign.

“Brazil did not campaign for Clinton or Trump. The fact that Brazil was not in the middle of the clashes in the campaign is positive,” he told reporters.

And while a few in the Temer Administration are apprehensive about the new president-elect and his administration’s stance towards his South American neighbor, some Brazilian legislators rejoiced. Right-wing Congressional representative and an ex-candidate for mayor for Rio de Janeiro , Jair Bolsonaro, wrote on his social media page:

“Congratulations to the American people for the just, sensible and well-deserved election of Donald J. Trump. The best wins, the patriot, the one who fought against everything and everyone. In 2018 Brazil will be on the same path.” According to Bolsonaro, he and Trump are a lot a like. “I believe in many of his proposals,” he said in a radio interview on Wednesday. “He is a lot like me…. he hates the politically correct.”


  1. Brasil is on the same path as the USA — actually further along in some respects. There are government officials in Brasil who are corrupt, just as there are in the USA. But, in Brasil you seem to be finding them, prosecuting them, removing them from office and, where appropriate, going down the path to conviction. In the USA, we are far away from that. We narrowly missed rewarding our biggest criminal with the office of the Presidency.

    On trade, Brasil should prepare to be flexible. Things like the 100% tariff on electronics, prohibition on foreign ownership in certain industries, etc. These are the things that Trump is talking about when he says we need fair trade. The USA will have to give up certain things, as well. But, as long as it’s fair, both countries will prosper. Brasil has come through some bad times but I am personally very confident in its future.

  2. Tom; You are entitled to your opinion, but the BIGGEST CRIMINAL is now the president-elect. A man who defrauded thousands of Americans with his fake university; screwing over MORE than 1,200 small businesses; declared bankruptcy FOUR TIMES so that he could get away with paying pennies on the dollar to his suppliers, then pocketed the money himself; who started a charity for veterans then kept the money for himself and had his portrait painted with proceeds; a man WHO HAS NOT PAID ANY INCOME TAX IN 19 YEARS but who, for the first time in over 40 years of presidential candidates revealing their income tax returns, refused to do so. Add to those CRIMINAL FACTS, he is also a racist; xenophobe; misogynist; bully; sexual predator on women; anti-semitic; major egotist and totally unfit and unprepared to be president – (64% of the American people said he was tempermentally unfit to be president). Hillary has her faults, but compared to him, she is a person who got speeding tickets versus a rapist. The world is in shock as well they should be – this man will have the nuclear codes and would use them the moment he gets pissed off, which is often. I pray he turns out to be a better president than he has been a candidate or a person in his life so far, but I, like most of the world and like the majority of Americans who voted for Hillary, I have no illusions.

  3. Tom is absolutely right. IIene is completely wrong.

    Donald Trump is the better of the two candidates. He may have his faults but they are out in the open for all to see. Hilary hides her most ugly side from the public naive enough to believe her lies. She is the criminal not him.

  4. Ilene’s rant sounds very much like a lying Hillary campaign speech. 64% of American voters said Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president but 68% of those same voters said lying Hillary was not worthy of belief. Bottom line, games over, she lost, he won. Quit whining and find another windmill to tilt with.


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