Brazil’s new top diplomat shifts focus from ideology to trade

Anthony Boadly – Reuters, 05/23/2016

The arrival of a tough-talking foreign minister in Brazil marks a move away from the ideologically-driven diplomacy that raised tensions with the United States in the past decade and towards a big push on trade.

Jose Serra’s first foreign visit to Argentina on Monday is expected to center on restoring South America’s Mercosur bloc to its purpose as a free trade area, after Venezuela’s entry in 2012 turned it into a left-leaning political forum.

The suspension of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to face an impeachment trial and her replacement by centrist Michel Temer as interim leader has pushed the political pendulum more toward the center in South America, following the election of a center-right government in Argentina last year.

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