Although located in one hemisphere, and having a history of economic and political relations, Brazil and the United States have a number of differences, which distinguish these countries from one another. The most evident of them is the social-cultural context. Both countries are highly extroverted, yet emotional expression even during business negotiations in Brazil is much less inhibited, which can be shocking for a more reserved American business representative (Medeiros et al., 2017). Therefore, Americans should be prepared to operate in a more sensitive culture.
Economically, Brazil and the US are similar, as they are market-based systems. Both countries have large economies with more than 100 billion dollars trade surplus (U.S. Department of State (n.d.). The US and Brazil have a number of agreements facilitating the transition of goods and services. However, as both participate in different economic organizations (NAFTA and MERCOSUR, respectively), all goods and services are subject to customs.
Politically, the countries are similar, as both of them are democracies. However, in legal context, Brazil is frequently cited as an excessively complicated country with abundant laws and rules, which obstruct the flow of business (The International Trade Administration (n.d.). Specifically foreign investors in Brazil will have to endure high and unpredictable tax burdens and a protectionist “Buy Brazil” policy. Even though entering the American market is no less difficult, it is still less overregulated than the Brazilian one.
Finally, there are certain managerial differences, which manifest in the attitude towards the unequal distribution of power. Whereas Americans are more sensitive about their independence and authority, Brazillians more easily accept the rule and power of others (Stück & LeClere, 2014). Even more important is the distinction of Brazil as collectivist society, while the US is famous for its individualism. As a result, priority of group interests over individual ones adds to the differences between the United States and Brazil.
Medeiros, G. C., Torres, A. R., Boisseau, C. L., Leppink, E. W., Eisen, J. L., Fontenelle, L. F., & Grant, J. E. (2017). A cross-cultural clinical comparison between subjects with obsessive-compulsive disorder from the United States and Brazil. Psychiatry Research, 254, 104-111.
Stück, J., & LeClere, M. J. (2014). The Brasileiro and the Yankee: A cross-cultural comparison of Brazilian and American managers in Brazil. The Exchange, 3(1). 68-81.
The International Trade Administration (n.d.). Brazil – Trade Barriers.
U.S. Department of State (n.d.). U.S. relations with Brazil.