São Paulo to Lagos: Brazilian Beef Exports and Development under Military Rule

Sunday, January 8, 2012: 12:00 PM
Superior Room B (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers)
Jerry Dávila, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
This paper examines the Brazilian government's attempts to develop trade
circuits with West African nations in the 1970s, focusing on the
experience with exportation of beef to Nigeria.  The paper situates this
question within the context of competing Brazilian and Nigerian
conceptions of economic development shaped by each country's growing
capacity for export and consumption. This transnational circuit of trade
characterizes the Brazilian military regime's heavy intervention in the
economy in order to sustain accelerated rates of growth in the shadow of
an increasingly debilitating balance of payments deficit driven by the
rising costs of oil importation.  In turn, it also illustrates Nigerian
conceptions of economic development and the rise of its consumer class
driven by oil export profits.  Drawing on the records of the Brazilian
Foreign Ministry and of Foreign Minister Antonio Azeredo da Silveira, this
paper argues that this short-lived trade cycle foundered both on upon
basic conflicts between the Brazilian and Nigerian models of economic
development, and on the debt crises that punctuated these countries
experiences with rapid economic growth.
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