Brazil contemplates presidential visit to Casa Blanca: sources

© Reuters. Brazil contemplates presidential visit to Casa Blanca: sources

By Alonso Soto

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian and US officials are in talks about a visit to the White House by President Michel Temer to discuss bilateral trade and investment issues, two sources in Temer’s office said on Wednesday.

US President Donald Trump invited Temer for a visit during a phone call on March 18, when the two leaders discussed deepening trade and trade ties between the largest economies in the Western Hemisphere, the sources said.

Trump’s pledges 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 agreement with its northern neighbor.

But Temer’s center-right government hopes to see business opportunities 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 share of the US market, if Trump advances on his threats to reform or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.

“We are not a threat to the United States and there are many investment opportunities in both countries,” said one of the sources, a senior government official.

The sources asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly about Temer’s possible visit to the White House. No date has been set for the visit, they said.

Temer’s press office declined to comment.

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