Aviation figured prominently in a meeting between US and Brazilian heads of state at the White House last week, but while the prospect of a broad-ranging Boeing-Embraer alliance was raised, no details emerged beyond a general commitment to pursue advances in safety and efficiency.

The Western hemisphere's two biggest economies and their respective aerospace champions signed separate memoranda of understanding to deepen ties. The two agreements point to co-operation on air traffic control and infrastructure, along with biofuel development, but beyond working together to develop commercial aircraft features that enhance safety and efficiency there is no cause to expect a substantial partnership between Boeing and Embraer.

The declarations, signed on the eve of President Obama's departure for the Summit of the Americas meeting in Colombia, are probably best seen in the broader context of diplomatic tension between the two countries. Obama referred to the need to co-ordinate policies on clean energy, narco-trafficking and security, but his opposite number, Dilma Rousseff, did not miss the opportunity to raise again her long-standing complaint that massive US economic stimulus measures were flooding the region with cash and damaging Brazil's economy.

Source: Flight International