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| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 1999
TDD (202) 514-1888
ATTORNEY GENERAL SIGNS ANTITRUST COOPERATION AGREEMENT WITH BRAZIL
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Attorney General Janet Reno today signed an antitrust cooperation agreement with Brazil, which will enable the antitrust agencies in the two countries to improve their law enforcement relationship with each other. The agreement, which also was signed by Federal Trade Commission Chairman Robert Pitofsky and Brazil Minister of Justice Josť Carlos Dias, becomes effective after approval by the Brazilian National Congress.
Brazil is the world's eighth largest economy, with a gross domestic product of over $750 billion in 1998. In addition, Brazil is the United States's third largest export market in the Western Hemisphere, after Canada and Mexico.
"This new agreement is a significant step in developing a close relationship between the antitrust agencies of the United States and Brazil," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "It is an important tool that will be used to protect consumers in both countries."
The new agreement contains provisions for enforcement cooperation and coordination, notification about enforcement actions that may affect the other country, conflict avoidance and consultations with respect to enforcement actions, and effective confidentiality protections.
"Together, these provisions provide a sound basis for enhanced cooperation, while minimizing possible conflicts between the two nations' antitrust enforcement activities," said Joel I. Klein, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division. "We look forward to working more closely with our Brazilian colleagues at a time when sound antitrust enforcement is a high priority in both the United States and Brazil."
The agreement, once effective, will not change existing law in either country and is not a comprehensive antitrust mutual legal assistance agreement authorized by the International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994.