"Langevin Brazil Is Too Big to Lose" December 30, 2013 The Houston Chronicle by Mark S. Langevin, Ph.D.
Texas is the commercial gateway to Mexico, but few understand the central role the Lone Star State plays in U.S.-Brazil relations.
Texas exports to Brazil are worth $10 billion and thousands of jobs. Brazil is one of state's fastest-growing export markets through sales of crude oil, oil and gas equipment and services, chemicals, aviation products and agricultural products. Brazil and its national oil company Petrobras are ramping up oil and gas exploration and production activities throughout the massive, offshore and ultra-deepwater "pre-salt" reserves to double petroleum production by 2020. Texas-based oil and gas firms will play measurable roles in this oil bonanza.
Brazil's chemical and plastics industries are on the rise, providing even more opportunities to Texas-based equipment manufacturers and service providers. Clearly, Brazil cannot realize its tremendous potential for oil and gas, chemical, and polymer production without Texas. Also, the state's aviation industries will likely increase exports to Brazil as well. Brazil is one of the largest helicopter markets, due in large part to the expanding offshore petroleum production. Aside from civilian uses, Lockheed Martin and Bell Helicopters will tender bids for a growing list of military procurement contracts as Brazil becomes one of the top 10 defense spenders in the world by 2020. Texas is big on Brazil, but the state's potential to do business with 200 million Brazilians will require greater bilateral cooperation between the governments of Washington and Brasilia to facilitate trade, open new markets and overcome the so-called "cotton dispute."