U.S., Brazil Sign Maritime Agreement

Monday, October 03, 2005
U.S. ship operators will gain greater access to Brazil’s government cargo business while Brazil’s carriers seeking access to U.S. markets will be assured equal treatment, under an agreement signed today by U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta and Brazilian Ambassador Roberto Abdenur in Washington, D.C.

“Free trade helps everyone – shippers, carriers and most of all consumers,” Secretary Mineta said. “This agreement will provide for greater competition in shipping that will benefit both the United States and Brazil.”

The new agreement requires both sides to provide equal treatment for the other’s carriers in maritime-related services and facilities, including shipping taxes. It also provides unlimited access for U.S.-flag carriers to government-controlled cargoes whose shipments are arranged by the Brazilian government, which historically has been a significant portion of that country’s commercial cargo.

The agreement was reached after more than three years of negotiations. Brazil’s Congress must ratify the agreement before it can be brought into force. No U.S. ratification is needed.

The United States and Brazil signed a similar agreement in 1999, but it was not ratified by Brazil and expired in October 2002.

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