"Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff of the center-left Workers Party was permanently removed from office on August 31, 2016--a little more than a year and a half into her second four-year term. Officially, Rousseff was impeached and convicted by supermajorities in both houses of the Brazilian Congress for violating the country's fiscal responsibility law. Many analysts contend, however, that Rousseff's fate was determined more by legislators' political calculations than by the legal merits of the impeachment charges. Rousseff's political base collapsed over the past year as a deep economic recession eroded Brazilians' living standards and a damaging corruption investigation split the governing coalition. [...] There has been considerable continuity in U.S.-Brazilian relations despite the change in government in Brazil. Although some Members of Congress called on the Obama Administration to express concern about the impeachment process, the Administration asserts that 'Brazil's democratic institutions have acted within its constitutional framework.' Bilateral dialogues, which facilitate policy coordination on issues of mutual concern, continued during the political crisis, and Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that the U.S. and Brazilian governments will continue working together to address issues such as climate change, Zika, and the crisis in Venezuela. Brazil's economic recession has had a greater impact on bilateral relations. Bilateral merchandise trade declined by 18% in 2015 and has fallen an additional 17.5% through the first six months of 2016. U.S. exports have been particularly hard hit, declining by more than 25% ($10.8 billion) in 2015 and 20.5% ($3.5 billion) in the first six months of 2016. Brazil's new foreign minister has asserted that Brazil will seek to bolster commercial relations with the United States by focusing on short-term practical solutions for removing regulatory and nontariff barriers to trade."
CRS Insight, IN10471
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html