A shipping agreement which was expected to be signed last Wednesday between the U.S. and Brazil reportedly will provide equal access to government business and nullify two taxes that had penalized U.S.-line shippers, U.S. officials said. U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, traveling in South America
, said the three-year agreement would return U.S.-Brazil shipping to the "quality relationship" that had prevailed until recently for the last 30 years.
Brazil apparently has agreed to drop a separate ship registry that had offered shippers tax breaks for doing business with Brazilian-registered ships. Also, it appears that the Brazilian government has agreed to waive additional taxes levied on goods shipped via U.S. lines because the Brazilian Congress had not ratified the last U.S.-Brazil maritime