Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 11/2013

Trust, Engagement, and Technology Transfer: Underpinnings for U.S.-Brazil Defense Cooperation

E. Richard Downes

June 2012

Institute for National Strategic Studies


As Brazil’s power and international standing grow, so does the importance to the United States of a close relationship with Brazil. Among emerging powers, Brazil is politically and culturally the closest to the United States. For this South American neighbor, defense technology has become a critical aspect of strategic reorientation and force modernization. Sharing U.S. defense technology, including know-how, would strengthen U.S.- Brazil relations. The two nations have taken initial steps to strengthen defense relations, including the 2010 Defense Cooperation Agreement and the first U.S.-Brazil Defense Cooperation Dialogue. Full implementation of 2010 agreements, pursuit of a shared vision of deeper defense cooperation, and development of a bilateral plan to advance the transfer of defense technology (and know-how) based on Brazil’s National Defense Strategy can improve defense collaboration and provide each country with important benefits.