THIS BOOK HAS TRIED TO OFFER AN OVERVIEW OF U.S.-BRAZIL relations in the twentieth century. Its primary concern has been the coverage of the broad range of issues that shape U.S.-Brazil economic and political relations in the last decade. While these issues may appear to transmit a fragmented reality, they also reveal a vivid process of agenda diversification involving governmental and nongovernmental interests; their impact has not necessarily been the same for both countries, however, as these issues affect the United States and Brazil quite differently.
The main purpose of the previous chapters has been to point out that even though U.S.-Brazil relations have become more complex and diverse, the relationship tends to repeat the same pattern of (mis)understanding and mutual frustration. When compared with relations thirty years ago, economic relations at present involve a multifaceted set of trade negotiations and financial/monetary pressures. As delineated in chapter 2, bilateral trade developments have become particularly intertwined with multilateral trade disputes carried forward within the World Trade Organization and in regional trade negotiations. Political relations have also become more diverse, as we have seen in chapter 3. First-tier issues involve interstate relations dealing with international and regional politics and security, and second-tier agendas include nongovernmental pressures and interests driven by a myriad of human-rights and environmental organizations. Interstate relations become more promising when regional politics and security problems are addressed. Nevertheless, it is not clear how far U.S.-Brazil commonalities can advance once Brazil tries to consolidate a political and economic preeminence in South America. The expanded profile of actors and interests involved in the second-tier agenda of U.S.-Brazil relations reflects new realities shaped simultaneously by globalization and democratization. However, neither the changes in the world order nor the process of democratic consolidation in Brazil have altered the vicious circle observed in U.S-Brazil relations in the last sixty years.