Secretary Statements & Remarks

Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen at an American Chamber of Commerce Event in São Paulo, Brazil

As Prepared for Delivery

Good morning. Thank you to the American Chamber of Commerce and to President Neto for hosting this event. Minister Silva – Thank you for joining me. You’ve spent your career leading on climate, and I’m glad to we have the chance to discuss with those here the strength of the economic relationship between our two countries and specifically opportunities for collaboration on climate.

This year, the United States and Brazil celebrate 200 years of formal diplomatic relations. Our strong economic relationship is founded on a deep and long history of engagement and shared values and bolstered by the current strength of each of our economies.

Over the past three years, the Biden Administration’s economic policies have helped drive a historic recovery. U.S. GDP growth is strong and inflation has come down significantly. We also have a strong labor market. Our unemployment rate is near historic lows, more Americans are working than before the pandemic, and real wages are up. We are now focusing on growing our economy for the long term. A trifecta of legislation—the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act—is fueling investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, and clean energy. Since the start of the Administration, private sector companies have announced over $600 billion in clean energy and manufacturing investments.

I believe that Brazil’s private sector, represented by those of you in this room, can drive similarly strong growth and employment outcomes here.

As we are working to do in the United States, it is vital that Brazil create the conditions for the private sector to invest and grow. I congratulate Minister Haddad and Brazil on accomplishing a truly historic tax reform. This will improve the ease of doing business here, including for American companies looking to invest.

There is also a huge opportunity for Brazil to become more integrated in global value chains, and the United States will be a strong partner to Brazil in this effort. Steps such as addressing high external tariffs and progressing on the adoption of OECD codes and standards could make Brazil even more attractive to foreign investors, creating additional opportunities for both our economies.

Brazil is also particularly well positioned to benefit from the global transition to carbon neutrality. You have the advantage of an energy grid that is already largely based on renewables, which will be a major asset as economies around the world increasingly internalize the cost of carbon in production. You also have the vitally important carbon sink of the Amazon basin. There are in fact significant opportunities for the private sector, including American companies, across Brazil’s green economy, from further fueling its clean energy transition, to investing in its plant-based foods and cosmetics industries.

I am very glad that the Treasury Department and Fazenda are actively exploring how we can partner on much of this.

The United States is also deeply engaged in multilateral initiatives in the region, alongside regional partners. Brazilian President Ilan Goldfajn has been leading important and comprehensive reform across the Inter-American Development Bank Group, including to position the institution to better support the growth of the region’s private sector to fuel the green transition. The United States, alongside other shareholders, looks forward to completing a capital increase for the IDB’s private sector arm next month.

With that, thank you again to all of you for being here, and I look forward to hearing from Minister Silva.