BRASILIA: Brazilian and U.S. officials are in talks about a White House visit by President Michel Temer to discuss bilateral trade and investment issues, two sources in Temer’s office said on Wednesday.
U.S. President Donald Trump invited Temer for a visit during a March 18 phone call, when the two leaders discussed deepening commercial and business ties between the Western Hemisphere’s largest economies, the sources said.
Trump’s promises to defend U.S. companies from foreign competition have worried Washington’s partners in much of Latin America, especially Mexico which is under pressure to rework a free-trade deal with its northern neighbour.
But the centre-right Temer government hopes to see business opportunities opening up with the United States as it struggles to rescue the Brazilian economy from a two-year recession.
Industries in Brazil, whose biggest trading partner is China, are benefiting from a weaker real currency. They could potentially increase their U.S. market share, if Trump advances on his threats overhaul or pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.
“We are not a threat to the United States and there are plenty of investment opportunities in both countries,” one of the sources, a senior government official, said.
The sources asked not to be identified because they had not been authorized to speak about Temer’s possible White House visit publicly. No date for the visit has been set, they said.
Temer’s press office declined to comment.
(Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Tom Brown)