Relations between the United States and Brazil entered the twenty-first century facing new challenges and opportunities. Major transformations in the substance and format of bilateral ties have been connected to new landscapes in the domestic and international affairs of both countries. The combination of outstanding economic performance with an unchallenged military primacy and political leadership has allowed the United States to reaffirm hegemonic attributes, becoming the most powerful actor in the world power system. For Brazil, the impact of democratization, together with the effects of world economic globalization and the end of the Cold War, redesigned domestic and external pressures and interests. Nowadays, Brazil seeks a positive agenda with the United States, though the texture of this relationship has become more complex and difficult to categorize under a single label. The post-Cold War world poses new challenges and opportunities for the United States and Brazil. Thus, new areas of convergence and of discrepancies between the two countries have emerged, introducing new flavors to the main course.
U.S.-Brazil relations have gone through different phases, oscillating from “good” to “cool” without ever experiencing hostility, making such relations unique in the Western Hemisphere. While Mexico has carried the burden of war and territorial loss to the United States, Argentina is still “making up” for the strong anti-American sentiments that shaped its foreign policies through most of the twentieth century.
Brazil and the United States have shared a notion of “constrained discrepancy” which, while it has always avoided open confrontation, has resulted in frustrations on both sides that have long dominated their relations. U.S.-Brazil relations have faced cyclical crises of expectations caused by erroneous calculations on both sides. At the end of World War II, Brazil expected special acknowledgment for having fought against the Axis powers. New frustrations