Brazil may reject US fighter jet deal over NSA spying scandal


Brazilian officials have expressed reluctance to purchasing dozens of military planes from the US after it was revealed that the NSA not only closely monitored Brazilian energy and military affairs, but also mined for commercial secrets.

The US had planned to sell Brazil – a country in the process of revitalizing its Air Force – 36 fighter jets in a deal worth more than US$4 billion. But when US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday, the leaders will not discuss the deal, a source near to the situation told Reuters. 

Kerry traveled to Colombia before making his way to Brazil in an attempt to repair relations with Latin American nations after NSA leaker Edward Snowden disclosed documents showing that the US spied on communications related to the military, political and terror issues, and energy policies.

We cannot talk about the fighters now…You cannot give such a contract to a country that you do not trust,” the source said. 

Chicago-based Boeing Co. is competing for the $4 billion contract against France’s Rafale and Sweden’s Gripen, although the longer Brazil goes without choosing, the more likely it is that other competitors will enter the fray.  

Rousseff delayed a decision on the fighter jets because of budget woes and widespread demonstrations protesting austerity and government corruption. 

I don’t expect the president to decide on the fighter contract this year, and next year is an election year so it might have to wait until 2015,” a Brazilian government source said.  

Brazil’s Foreign Minister, Antonio Patriota, informed United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon of the nation’s situation as recently as last week. 

Tuesday’s visit will be Kerry’s first trip to Brazil as Secretary..

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