... Brazil plays a major role in world trade: it is a leading producer of soybeans, beef, and iron ore...†††



Brazilís Global Ambitions

Brazil has long sought a greater role on the world stage, but political upheaval and other enduring challenges have complicated its efforts.


Diana Roy, Council on Foreign Relations

September 19, 2022




         Brazil wields considerable economic and political influence as the largest and most populous country in Latin America.

         An emerging global power, it is a staunch defender of multilateralism and maintains robust ties with China, the United States, and the European Union.

         Under President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil has continued to struggle with environmental degradation, corruption, and violent crime, among other challenges.




As Latin Americaís largest and most influential country, Brazil has long played a leadership role in the region, throwing its economic and diplomatic might behind hemispheric integration efforts. It has also increasingly sought a bigger voice for developing countries on the world stage. In addition to its active membership in the United Nations and other major multilateral institutions, Brazil has worked closely with countries such as China, India, and Russia to develop alternative forums.


However, a decade marked by economic upheaval and corruption scandals that implicated much of the political establishment has hindered its goals. President Jair Bolsonaro campaigned on a ďBrazil above everythingĒ slogan that he argued would help reclaim the countryís sovereignty, but critics say his approach has exacerbated domestic inequalities and led to growing international isolation.


Why does Brazil matter in world affairs?


Brazil is the largest and most influential country in South America, accounting for about half of the continentís population, landmass, and gross domestic product (GDP). It is the fifth-largest country in the world and the sixth most populous, with an estimated 214 million people. Brazil plays a major role in world trade: it is a leading producer of soybeans, beef, and iron ore.† Moreover, the two-thirds of the Amazon Rainforest that fall within its borders make it central to the global fight against climate change. After the United States, Brazil has the largest military force in the Western Hemisphere, though it has historically relied on soft-power strategies, including foreign aid, to exert its influence.


Brazil wields considerable political and economic clout beyond Latin America. China and the United States are its top two trading partners, and the country has forged closer political and military ties with Russia. It has also asserted itself in nuclear talks with Iran despite objections from the United States. Brazilian forces have at times led peacekeeping missions in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the country has hosted international sporting events, including the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.


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Recommended Resources ...

more, including links, map, chart†††