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Brazil: Deal with the Russians

2 minute read

For all its talk about trading with both East and West, Brazil has not found much to swap with the East. Last year’s imports and exports amounted to $95.6 million, or about 3.6% of Brazil’s foreign trade, while $950 million, or 36%, was with the U.S. Yet Brazilians still feel that the Soviet bloc offers a “high-potentiality market,” and after nearly four months of palaver, they have signed a treaty to sell an awful lot of coffee and other products to Russia.

The new five-year pact is supposed to increase trade to $160 million this year, to $225 million by 1965 and after that, it all depends on how things work out. Brazil will import Russian oil, wheat, airplanes, tractors and industrial machinery. In turn, the Russians promise to buy Brazilian oranges, cotton, rice, cocoa, plus 60,000 tons of coffee per year—about 5% of Brazil’s coffee exports. Being tea drinkers themselves, the Russian’s propose to send shiploads of the coffee to Castro’s Cuba. And on this point the two countries fell into their first conflict. Under the terms of the agreement, no goods may be re-exported to a third country without consent of the original exporter. So far, Brazil is withholding its consent.

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