The Brazilian press calls their new president, Jair Bolsonaro, the “Tropical Trump.” Bolsonaro got that name for his strong nationalist approach to governing and his love for Donald Trump. The two men don’t know each other, but that will change once Jair joins Trump’s Washington reality show.
Brazil’s political arena is always in chaos. The president most Brazilians love, Lulu da Silva is behind bars for the scams he had in place while he was in office. The press claims Bolsonaro isn’t a crook, but he is out to prove Brazil can befriend Trump, and that, according to Bolsonaro, would stimulate his country’s economic growth. Brazil finally shook off the four-year recession that changed the lives of most Brazilians. Bolsonaro thinks getting closer to Trump will help his domestic growth agenda.
Mr. Bolsonaro is on his way to Washington to firm up the deal former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis gave Brazil before Trump fired him. According to several Brazilian news reports, Brazil and the U.S. reached an accord to safeguard United States space technology.
The South American nation wants the U.S. to use their Alcantara Air Force base to send commercial rockets into space. The Alcantara base sits near the equator, and in the satellite launching business that’s a plus. Bolsonaro wants to put the finishing touches on that accord when he meets his hero in Washington.
If Bolsonaro has his way, Brazil would get a piece of the $300 billion-a-year satellite launching business that U.S. companies support. Using the Alcantara base would save those companies money. Each satellite launch would cost 30 percent less in fuel costs and the rockets can carry a bigger payload.
The Lockheed Martin Corporation executives, as well as Boeing officials, went to Alcantara to check out the base. Those executives say the base is a great location for smaller companies in the satellite launching business. But in order for this new space accord to work, a technology safeguard agreement has to be in place after Bolsonaro’s Washington visit.
Bolsonaro believes Brazil and Trump can work together even though Brazil is a member of the BRICS nations. BRICS want to set up their own financial system to circumvent the global financial system the U.S. controls. Russia, India, China, and South Africa are also members of BRICS. When the BRICS financial system is in place, those countries can do business with each other without worrying about the sanctions Trump likes to impose on countries that don’t believe in Trumponomics.