District of Columbia — President Donald Trump officially designated Brazil as a major non-NATO ally on Wednesday, making them the 17th country to receive that designation from the United States Government. The President sent an official memo to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday afternoon informing him of the designation. The power to designate official non-NATO allies comes from section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.
With the designation, it makes it easier for Brazil to acquire weapons and defense equipment from the United States, joining countries to the likes of South Korea, Kuwait, and others in holding the distinction. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been considered to be similar to President Trump due to his populist, anti-establishment presidential run, and his blunt, at times controversial public statements he makes. President Bolsonaro has received the nickname “Trump of the Tropics” as a result of the similarities, something President Trump considers to be a compliment.