Trump, Bolsonaro prepared to sign agreement for US space launches from Brazil

During their first sit-down, President Trump and Brazil’s new far-right leader, President Jair Bolsonaro, arranged to sign several bilateral agreements, including one that lets the United States use Brazil’s Alcantara Aerospace Launch Base for satellites.

According to CBS, Trump said the U.S. will finalize an agreement with Brazil to be able to launch into space from the South American country’s north coast.

The Air Force told Reuters that launches from Brazil burn 30 percent less fuel, and rockets can carry larger payloads, because of the country’s location close to the equator.

CNBC reported that the space technology safeguard agreement also would bring U.S. companies one step closer to launching from Brazil.

Reuters reported that Boeing and Lockheed Martin officials visited the Alcantara space center in December 2017.

The Bolsonaro administration is seeking to reduce public-sector spending and privatize state enterprises to reduce debt and grow the economy.

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Trump predicted he and Bolsonaro — who’s been described as the “Trump of the Tropics” — would have a “fantastic working relationship,” telling reporters as he opened the joint press conference that they have “many views” in common.

“I think there was a lot of hostility with other presidents. There’s zero hostility with me. And we’re going to look at that very, very strongly, whether it’s NATO or it’s something having to do with alliance,” Trump said.

Trump said that he supports Brazil’s effort’s to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and is “very strongly” looking at U.S. support for Brazil’s effort to gain certain NATO privileges.

“We’re very inclined to do that,” Trump told reporters, describing the relationship between the two countries as better than ever.

In a sign of friendship, the two also exchanged soccer jerseys.

“I admire President Donald Trump and we will certainly work toward” shared interests,” Bolsonaro said Tuesday, adding that just as Trump “wants to have a great America,” he wants to have “a great Brazil.”

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Bolsonaro has sought to underscore his pro-America stance throughout his visit.

“For the first time in a while, a pro-America Brazilian president arrives in DC,” he tweeted after arriving. “It’s the beginning of a partnership focused on liberty and prosperity, something that all of us Brazilians have long wished for.”

Bolsonaro succeeded a leftist who at times had a frosty relationship with the United States. In 2013, leaks from Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency had wiretapped conversations of former President Dilma Rousseff, leading to several years of tense relations between the U.S. and Brazil.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.