COBERTURA ESPECIAL - Brazil - US - Defense

March 24, 2017 - 15:30 ( Brasília )

Brazil, US ink defense deal


Alex Rodrigues


After over six years of talks and adjustments, Brazil's Defense Ministry and  the US Department of Defense signed a deal on the exchange of information in research and defense technology. The agreement was signed Wednesday (Mar. 22).

The accord is a key step towards bringing Brazil and the US closer together, National Secretary for Defense Products Flávio Augusto Basílio argued. “Without this formalization, Americans wouldn't exchange information or technical cooperation. The deal means the US are saying Brazil is a strategic partner, and that Brazil-US ties will be a joint development, and not just buying and selling,” the secretary told Agência Brasil.

Long talks

The deal comes as a result of a long period of negotiations between military authorities from the two countries, which had already forged two bilateral agreements on the defense and protection of classified military data.

The talks were stalled in 2013 after former CIA analyst Edward Snowden revealed that the US were spying on political and business leaders in a number of countries, Brazil included. Even e-mails belonging to ex-President Dilma Rousseff could have been monitored, according to Snowden.

In June 2015, however, the Brazilian Congress passed two other agreements this deal seals, including the creation of the legal framework for the exchange of classified military information in a safe manner, preventing third parties from gaining access to secret material.

According to Basílio, the agreement signed Wednesday brings into force the two previous pacts and may lead to the development of aircraft, naval, and other equipment, in addition to basic research collaboration.

“Umbrella”

“The agreement opens up like an umbrella, allowing us to identity niches, sectors, and products. Without this institutional milestone, there would be no talks in this connection,” Basílio added, explaining that issues like staff training and the exchange of engineers between the two countries will be further detailed in new deals to be signed soon.

“Some deals are still pending before we reach our ultimate goal, which is the development of a binational product. We must create a solid base so we can take this step. The exchange of information already agreed on is a significant step in the field of scientific and technological cooperation,” he concluded, arguing that Brazil can only profit from closer ties with the US.


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