Divergent views over Brazil’s foreign policy direction have generated an important discussion within the country centering on whether Brazil should give priority to relations with its neighbors, or use its strengthened economy and technological prowess to project its national interests globally.
Challenges to Brazil’s approach to hemispheric integration from within the region – particularly in energy – have complicated the debate. At issue are distinct approaches to modernization, socio-economic issues, agricultural production and trade. Brazil’s leadership on sugarcane-based ethanol and a proposed plan of cooperation with the U.S. on biofuels have given new impetus to the discussion.
On September 28, the Brookings Institution and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted a conference with prominent Brazilian and American policymakers to debate these issues. After each panel discussion, participants took audience questions.