“In accordance with section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2321k), I am providing notice of my intent to designate Brazil as a Major Non-NATO Ally.

I am making this designation in recognition of the Government of Brazil’s recent commitments to increase defense cooperation with the United States, and in recognition of our own national interest in deepening our defense coordination with Brazil”, stated Trump.

Major non-NATO ally (MNNA) is a designation given by the United States government to close allies that have strategic working relationships with the US Armed Forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). While the status does not automatically include a mutual defense pact with the United States, it still confers a variety of military and financial advantages that otherwise are not obtainable by non-NATO countries.

Benefits of this new designation for Brazil include closer coordination on military missions, the ability to host U.S. war reserve stockpiles, expedited access to sensitive technology, collaboration on research and development of defence technology, more joint military exercises and training and preferential access to purchasing US military equipment.

Brazil is the 18th country to receive this designation.

The following countries are designated as major non-NATO allies: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Tunisia.

Trump is also looking into the possibility of making Brazil a member of NATO.

NATO would have to invite Brazil to join. Currently, the only Latin American nation affiliated with NATO is Colombia, which became one of the alliance’s “global partners,” meaning it would not necessarily have to engage in military action.

NATO can look at the possibility of other Latin American states joining Colombia in becoming alliance partners, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

“Until 2017, NATO didn’t have any partners in Latin America and then in 2017 we got our first partner, which was Colombia, and to be a close partner of NATO is something that is good for NATO and the partner country,” the NATO leader told Reuters.

“So of course, it is a possibility to look into the possibility of having also other countries in Latin America become partners which then provides a platform, a framework for close political and practical cooperation,” he said.

NATO membership is currently limited to countries of western Europe, Turkey, Canada and the United States, although NATO partner countries include Australia and New Zealand, as well as European non-members Sweden and Finland.

“Partners are not members. But partners are very close partners. We work very closely with them, practically and politically, and that’s a very good way to strengthen cooperation with NATO and countries that are not members of the alliance”, add Stoltenberg.

President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro has earned the nickname Trump of the Tropics and has attempted to align himself closely with Trump’s style and policies. The Brazilian leader has echoed Trump’s “fake news” line of attack toward the press, and his campaign slogan of “Brazil First” also mirrored Trump’s “America First” tag line.