By Lisandra Paraguassu and Anthony Boadle
BRASILIA (Reuters) – The United States will designate Brazil a major non-NATO ally during President Jair Bolsonaro’s visit to Washington next week, boosting growing cooperation between the Americas’ two largest militaries, two Brazilian government officials said on Thursday.
Bolsonaro will meet U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House on Tuesday during a visit aimed at strengthening economic, political and military ties between his right-wing government and Washington.
The status of “major non-NATO ally” (MNNA) gives a country preferential access to the purchase of U.S. military equipment and technology, including free surplus material, expedited export processing and prioritized cooperation on training.
Currently 17 countries have MNNA status. Brazil would become just the second Latin American country to join their ranks after Argentina, which received the designation in 1998. Colombia last year became a member of NATO.
(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu and Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton and Phil Stewart in Washignton; Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Brad Haynes and Lisa Shumaker)