U.S. and Brazil: Together and Apart

President Dilma Rousseff’s visit to Washington this week, just one year after President Obama’s celebrated visit to Brazil, is a good illustration of the growing maturity of the relationship between the two powerhouses of the hemisphere.

The visit is the latest stage in an ongoing effort to elevate and deepen cooperation between the two nations. Next week, Secretary Clinton will travel to Brazil for dialogues on global security and open government, signaling the intense desire of both governments to do even more together. Yet this embrace is likely to go only so far given the underlying tensions that animate a growing rivalry for influence on the regional and global stages.

The Good News

On balance, the United States and Brazil are getting along fine, with both sides proactively working to resolve differences on a wide range of issues and find common ground on relatively safe ones like science, education, racial diversity and innovation. Even on more sensitive topics like defense cooperation, Iran, Cuba and currency policies, Washington and Brasilia are managing their differences in ways that protect the overall positive tone of the partnership both presidents seek to project.

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