U.S. Department of State
Background Notes: Brazil, September 1997
Released by the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs.
Official Name: Federative Republic of Brazil
Area: 8,511,965 sq. km. (3,290,000 sq. mi.) Slightly smaller than the
Capital: Brasilia (pop. 1.8 million).
Other cities: Sao Paulo (11 million), Rio de Janeiro (6 million), Belo
Horizonte (2.3 million), Salvador (2 million), Fortaleza (1.8 million),
Recife (1.4 million), Porto Alegre (1.4 million), Curitiba (1.4
million). Terrain: Dense forests in northern regions including Amazon
Basin; semiarid along northeast coast; mountains, hills, and rolling
plains in the southwest including Mato Grosso; and coastal lowland.
Climate: Mostly tropical or semitropical with temperate zone in the
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Brazilian(s).
Population (1995): 156 million.
Annual growth rate: 1.7%.
Ethnic groups: Portuguese, Italian, German, Japanese, African,
Religion: Roman Catholic (80%).
Language: Portuguese. Education: Literacy--81% of adult population.
Health: Infant mortality rate--44/1,000. Life expectancy--67 years.
Work force (65 million): Services--40%; agriculture--35%; industry--25%.
Type: Federative Republic. Independence: September 7, 1822.
Constitution: Promulgated October 5, 1988. Branches: Executive--
president (chief of state and head of government popularly elected to no
more than two 4-year terms).
Legislative--Senate (81 members popularly elected to 8-year terms),
Chamber of Deputies (513 members popularly elected to 4-year terms).
Judicial--Supreme Federal Tribunal. Political parties: Brazilian
Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), Brazilian Social Democratic Party
(PSDB), Liberal Front Party (PFL), Social Democratic Party (PSD),
Democratic Workers Party (PDT), Workers Party (PT), Brazilian Labor
Party (PTB), Liberal Party (PL), Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB),
Communist Party of Brazil (PC do B), Brazilian Progressive Party (PPB),
Popular Socialist Party (PPS), Green Party (PV), The Social Liberal
Party (PSL), The National Mobilization Party (PMN).
GDP: U.S.$600 billion.
Annual real growth rate: 3.9%. Per capita GDP: U.S. $4,200.
Natural resources: Iron ore, manganese, bauxite, nickel, uranium,
Agriculture (13% of GDP): Products--coffee, soybeans, sugarcane, cocoa,
rice, beef, corn, oranges, cotton, wheat.
Industry: Types--steel, chemicals, petrochemicals, machinery, motor
vehicles, consumer durables, cement, lumber.
Trade: Exports--$47 billion. Major markets--United States 19%, Argentina
10%, Netherlands 8%, Japan 6%, Germany 4%, Italy 3%, France 2%. Imports-
-$50 billion. Major suppliers--United States 25%, Argentina 12%, Germany
9%, Italy 5%, Japan 4%.
Official exchange rate: 1.05 Reais = U.S. $1.
The United States was the first country to recognize Brazil's
independence in 1822. The two countries have traditionally enjoyed
friendly, active relations encompassing a broad political and economic
With the inauguration of Brazil's internationally oriented, reformist
President Fernando Henrique Cardoso on January 1, 1995, U.S.-Brazil
engagement and cooperation have intensified. This is reflected in the
unprecedented number of high-level contacts between the two governments,
including President Cardoso's state visit to Washington in April 1995,
visits to Brazil by First Lady Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State
Warren Christopher, the late Secretary of Commerce Ronald Brown and many
other exchanges between U.S. and Brazilian cabinet and sub-cabinet
officials. Important topics of discussion and cooperation have included
trade and finance, hemispheric economic integration, United Nations
reform and peacekeeping efforts, nonproliferation and arms control,
follow-up to the 1994 Miami Summit of the Americas, common efforts to
help resolve the Peru-Ecuador border conflict, support for Paraguay's
democratic development, human rights, counternarcotics, and
A new agreement for cooperation in counternarcotics was signed in March
1995, and a national drug control plan has been drafted. During a visit
of Under Secretary of State Timothy Wirth to Brazil in October 1995, the
two countries signed a Common Agenda on the Environment, laying the
foundation for cooperative efforts in environmental protection. The two
governments are negotiating a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which will
assist in combating international crime.
Former U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor and Brazilian Foreign
Minister Lampreia submitted a joint report to Presidents Clinton and
Cardoso on the U.S.-Brazil Bilateral Trade Review, completed October 25,
1995. The Bilateral Trade Review lays the groundwork for closer
cooperation in resolving bilateral trade issues as well as in joint
efforts to advance progress toward a Free Trade Area of the Americas
(FTAA) and to develop closer ties between NAFTA and Mercosul, the Common
Market of the South. Brazil is a key player in hemispheric efforts to
negotiate an FTAA by 2005, and hosted the May 1997 FTAA Trade
Ministerial in Belo Horizonte.
Relations are advancing well in various aspects of scientific and
technical work as well. During his 1996 visit, former Secretary of State
Christopher signed a Space Cooperation agreement and initialed an
agreement on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Deputy Chief of Mission--James Derham
Defense Attache;--Col. Layton Dunbar, U.S. Army
Economic Counselor--John H. Lewis
Commercial Counselor--Miguel Pardo de Zela (resident in Sao Paulo)
Political Counselor--John Caswell
Science Counselor--Xenia Wilkinson
Public Affairs Counselor (USIS)--John Dwyer
Consul General in Sao Paulo-Melissa Wells
Consul General in Rio de Janeiro--Cristobal Orozco
Consul in Recife--Earl Irving
The U.S. embassy in Brasilia is located at SES Avenida das
Nações, quadra 801, lote 3, Brasilia, DF, CEP: 70.403-900
(tel. 55-61-321-7272). (fax 55-61-321-2833).
There are U.S. consulates general in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo and a
consulate in Recife. Consular agents are located in Manaus, Belem,
Salvador, Fortaleza, and Porto Alegre. Branch offices of the U.S.
Information Service (USIS) are located in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, and
Sao Paulo. Branch offices of the U.S. Foreign Commercial Services are
located in Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.
U.S. Embassy and Consulate Functions
In addition to working closely with Brazilian Government officials to
strengthen our bilateral relationship, the U.S. embassy and consulates
in Brazil provide a wide range of services to U.S. citizens and
business. Political, economic, and science officers deal directly with
the Brazilian Government in advancing U.S. interests, but are also
available to provide information to U.S. citizens on general conditions
in the country. Attaches from the Foreign Commercial Service and Foreign
Agriculture Service work closely with hundreds of U.S. companies which
maintain offices in Brazil. These officers provide information on
Brazilian trade and industry regulations and administer several programs
intended to aid U.S. companies starting or maintaining business ventures
The consular section of the embassy provides vital services to the
estimated 50,000 U.S. citizens residing in Brazil. Among other services,
the consular section assists Americans who wish to participate in U.S.
elections while abroad and provides U.S. tax information. Besides the
U.S. residents living in Brazil, some 150,000 U.S. citizens visit
annually. The consular section offers passport and emergency services to
U.S. tourists as needed during their stay in Brazil.
Brazil is the 10th-largest economy in the world, with 1996 GDP over
U.S.$600 billion. It is a highly diversified economy with wide
variations in levels of development. Most large industry is concentrated
in the south and southeast. Although traditionally the poorest part of
Brazil, the northeast is beginning to attract new investment.
Brazil embarked on its most successful economic stabilization program,
the Plano Real (named for the new currency, the real, plural: reais) in
July 1994. Inflation--which had reached an annual level of nearly 5000%
at the end of 1993--has since dropped to its lowest level in over 40
years and is expected to be less than 10% in 1997. Brazil has
accomplished this through a combination of a strong exchange rate, tight
monetary policies, trade liberalization and privatization. In addition,
the Cardoso Administration has introduced to Congress a series of
constitutional reform proposals to replace a state-dominated economy
with a market-oriented one and to restructure all levels of government
on a financially sound basis. Congress has approved amendments to open
the economy to greater private sector participation, including foreign
investors. Reforms to bring order to government fiscal accounts have
made less progress--because of their greater political sensitivity--but
remain under consideration by the Congress. The Administration places
great importance on these fiscal reforms for sustainable long-term
growth. The Plano Real has raised the income of poor Brazilians, but
Brazil continues to have one of the world's most inequitable
distributions of income. The Administration has acknowledged the need to
invest more in education and health to redress this inequity.
Market liberalization and economic stabilization have significantly
enhanced Brazil's growth prospects. Brazil's trade has almost doubled
since 1990, from U.S.$50 billion to an estimated U.S.$100 billion in
1996. The United States represents about 20% of that trade, and ran
small trade surpluses in 1995 and 1996 after many years of deficits with
Brazil. Foreign direct investment has increased from less than U.S.$1
billion in 1993 to an estimated U.S.$7 billion in 1996. The United
States is the largest foreign investor in Brazil, accounting for almost
U.S.$20 billion, or 34% of total foreign investment. Ongoing and
upcoming privatization in the telecommunication, energy and mining
sectors of Brazil planned for 1997 and 1998 is of major interest to U.S.
Brazil is endowed with vast agricultural resources. There are basically
two distinct agricultural areas. The first, located in the central-south
region, has temperate rainfall, the best soils, high technology and
input use, reasonable infrastructure, and more experienced farmers. It
produces most of Brazil's food and export crops. The other, located in
the drought-ridden northeast region and in the Amazon basin, lacks well-
distributed rainfall, good soil, adequate infrastructure, or sufficient
development capital. Although producing mostly for self-sufficiency, the
latter regions are becoming increasingly important in exports of forest
products, cocoa, sugarcane and tropical fruits. Central Brazil contains
substantial areas of grassland with only scattered trees. The Brazilian
grasslands are less fertile than those of North America and are
generally more suited for grazing.
Brazilian agriculture is highly diversified, and the country is largely
self-sufficient in food. Agriculture accounts for 13% of the country's
GDP, and employs about one third of the labor force in more than 6
million agricultural enterprises. Crop production accounts for about 90%
of the total agricultural output. Brazil is the world's largest producer
of sugarcane and coffee, and an exporter of rice, corn, cocoa, cotton,
soybeans, oranges, tobacco, forest products, and other tropical fruits
and nuts. The remaining 10% of the agricultural economy involves
livestock activities, mainly the production of beef, poultry, pork,
milk, and eggs.
Brazil is a net exporter of agricultural and food products, which
account for about 35% of the country's exports. In 1995, farm and food
exports totaled U.S.$16 billion. Record levels of imports amounted to
nearly U.S.$7 billion. In 1994 and 1995, agricultural exports were hurt
by the sharp appreciation of the Brazilian real, lack of export
financing, and high taxes and port costs. On the other hand,
agricultural and food imports grew substantially during this period as a
result of production shortfalls, lower prices due to import
liberalization and a strong currency, and increased consumer demand. In
the long run, however, the trend of agricultural imports is back toward
Half of Brazil is covered by forests, with the largest rain forest in
the world located in the Amazon Basin. Recent migrations into the Amazon
and large-scale burning of forest areas have placed the international
spotlight on Brazil. The government has reduced incentives for such
activity and is beginning to implement an ambitious environmental plan.
Brazil has one of the most advanced industrial sectors in Latin America.
Accounting for one-third of GDP, Brazil's diverse industries range from
automobiles, steel, and petrochemicals, to computers, aircraft, and
consumer durables. With the increased economic stability provided by the
Plano Real, Brazilian firms and multinationals have invested hundreds of
millions of dollars in new equipment and technology, a large share of
which has been purchased from U.S. firms. However, the country's power,
transportation, and communications systems--particularly outside the
more developed southern states--suffer from lack of investment and poor
Brazil has a diverse and sophisticated services industry as well. During
the early 1990s, the banking sector accounted for as much as 16% of GDP.
Although undergoing a major overhaul, Brazil's financial services
industry provides local firms a wide range of products and is attracting
numerous new entrants, including U.S. financial firms. The Sao Paulo and
Rio de Janeiro stock exchanges have been among the fastest growing in
the world in the last two years.
The Brazilian Government has undertaken an ambitious program to reduce
dependence on imported oil. Imports previously accounted for more than
70% of the country's oil needs but now account for less than 50%. Brazil
is one of the world's leading producers of hydroelectric power, with a
potential of 106,500 megawatts. Existing hydroelectric power provides
90% of the nation's electricity. Two large hydroelectrical projects, the
12,600 megawatt Itaipu Dam on the Parana River--the world's largest dam-
-and the Tucurui Dam in Para in northern Brazil, are in operation.
Brazil's first commercial nuclear reactor, Angra I, located near Rio de
Janeiro, has been in operation for more than 10 years. Angra II is under
construction, and Angra III is planned. The three reactors would have
combined capacity of 3,000 megawatts when completed.
Proven mineral resources are extensive. Large iron and manganese
reserves are important sources of industrial raw materials and export
earnings. Deposits of nickel, tin, chromite, bauxite, beryllium, copper,
lead, tungsten, zinc, gold, and other minerals are exploited. High-
quality coking-grade coal required in the steel industry is in short
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Brazil is a federal republic with 26 states and a federal district. The
1988 constitution grants broad powers to the federal government, made up
of executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The President holds
office for four years and appoints his own cabinet. There are 81
senators, three for each state and the Federal District, and 513
deputies. Senate terms are for eight years, with election staggered so
that two-thirds of the upper house is up for election at one time and
one-third four years later. Chamber terms are for four years, with
elections based on a complex system of proportional representation by
states. Each state is eligible for a minimum of 8 seats; the largest
state delegation (Sao Paulo's) is capped at 70 seats. The result is a
system weighted in favor of geographically large but sparsely populated
Fifteen political parties are represented in Congress. Since it is
common for politicians to switch parties, the proportion of
congressional seats held by particular parties changes regularly. The
following are the major ones, in order of the size of their
PFL--Liberal Front Party (center-right)
PMDB--Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (center)
PSDB--Brazilian Social Democratic Party center-left)
PPB--Brazilian Progressive Party (center-right)
PT--Workers Party (left)
PDT--Democratic Labor Party (left)
PTB--Brazilian Labor Party (center-right)
PSB--Brazilian Socialist Party (left)
PCdoB--Communist Party of Brazil (left)
PL--Liberal Party (center-right)
President Cardoso was elected with the support of a heterodox alliance
of his own center-left Social Democratic Party, the PSDB, and two
center-right parties, the Liberal Front Party (PFL) and the Brazilian
Labor Party (PTB). Brazil's largest party, the centrist Brazilian
Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), joined Cardoso's governing coalition
after the election, as did the center-right PPB, the Brazilian
Progressive Party, in 1996, after its formation from three conservative
parties the previous year. Federal deputies and senators who belong to
the parties comprising the government coalition do not always vote with
the government, a consequence of weak party discipline and lack of
ideological coherence both among and within coalition parties. As a
result, President Cardoso has had difficulty cobbling together
sufficient support for many of his legislative priorities, despite the
fact that his coalition parties hold an overwhelming majority of
congressional seats. Among several opposition parties, the left-of-
center Workers Party (PT) is the largest and most ideologically
States are organized like the federal government, with three government
branches. Because of the mandatory revenue allocation to states and
municipalities provided for in the 1988 Constitution, Brazilian
governors and mayors have exercised considerable power since 1989.
Presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial elections took place in
October 1994. Fernando Henrique Cardoso won the presidential election
with approximately 54% of the vote, while his closest challenger, Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva (PT), had about 27%. Elections for the nation's
mayors were held in October and November 1996. The next national
elections will be in 1998.
Traditionally, Brazil has been a leader in the inter-American community
and has played an important role in collective security efforts as well
as in economic cooperation in the Western Hemisphere. Brazil aligned
with the allies in both World Wars. During World War II its
expeditionary force in Italy played a key role in the allied victory at
Monte Castello. It is a party to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal
Assistance (Rio Treaty) and a member of the Organization of American
States (OAS). Recently, Brazil has given high priority to expanding
relations with its South American neighbors and is a founding member of
the Amazon Pact, the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI), and
Mercosul ( Mercosur in Spanish), uniting Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay,
and Brazil. Along with Argentina, Chile, and the United States, Brazil
is one of the guarantors of the Peru-Ecuador peace process.
Brazil is a charter member of the United Nations and participates in
many of its specialized agencies. It has contributed troops to UN
peacekeeping efforts in the Middle East, the former Belgian Congo,
Cyprus, Mozambique, and most significantly, Angola.
As Brazil's domestic economy has grown and diversified, the country has
become increasingly involved in international politics and economics.
The United States, Western Europe, and Japan are primary markets for
Brazilian exports and sources of foreign lending and investment. As an
indication of Brazil's broader international role, trade with other
developing countries increased from 9% of the total in the 1970s to
nearly 30% in 1993. Brazil has also bolstered its commitment to non-
proliferation through the signing of a full-scale nuclear safeguard
agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), accession
to the Treaty of Tlatelolco, and membership in the Missile Technology
Control Regime and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Principal Government Officials
President--Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Luiz Felipe Lampreia
Ambassador to the U.S.--Paulo Tarso Flecha de Lima
Ambassador to the UN--Celso Amorim
Ambassador to the OAS--Carlos Alberto Leite Barbosa
Brazil maintains an embassy in the United States at 3006 Massachusetts
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-238-2700). Brazil maintains
consulates general in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles; and consulates
in Miami, Houston, Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Orlando.
PEOPLE AND HISTORY
With an estimated 156 million inhabitants, Brazil has the largest
population in Latin America and ranks sixth in the world. The majority
live in the south-central area, which includes the industrial cities of
Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte. Urban growth has been
rapid: by 1991, 75% of the total population were living in urban areas.
Rapid growth has aided economic development but has also created serious
social, environmental, and political problems for major cities.
Four major groups make up the Brazilian population: the Portuguese, who
colonized in the 16th century; Africans brought to Brazil as slaves;
various other European, Middle Eastern, and Asian immigrant groups who
have settled in Brazil since the mid-19th century; and indigenous people
of Tupi and Guarani language stock. Intermarriage between the Portuguese
and indigenous people or slaves was common. Although the major European
ethnic stock of Brazil was once Portuguese, subsequent waves of
immigration have contributed to a diverse ethnic and cultural heritage.
From 1875 until 1960, about 5 million Europeans emigrated to Brazil,
settling mainly in the four southern states of Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa
Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. Immigrants have come mainly from Italy,
Germany, Spain, Japan, Poland, and the Middle East. The largest Japanese
community outside Japan is in Sao Paulo. Despite class distinctions,
national identity is strong, and racial friction is a relatively new
Indigenous full-blooded Indians, located mainly in the northern and
western border regions and in the upper Amazon Basin, constitute less
than one percent of the population. Their numbers are declining as
contact with the outside world and commercial expansion into the
interior increase. Brazilian Government programs to establish
reservations and to provide other forms of assistance have existed for
years but are controversial and often ineffective.
Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas.
Approximately 80% of all Brazilians belong to the Roman Catholic Church;
most others are Protestant or follow practices derived from African
Brazil was claimed for Portugal in 1500 by Pedro Alvares Cabral. It was
ruled from Lisbon as a colony until 1808, when the royal family, having
fled from Napoleon's army, established the seat of Portuguese government
in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil became a kingdom under Dom Joao VI, who
returned to Portugal in 1821. His son declared Brazil's independence on
September 7, 1822, and became emperor with the title of Dom Pedro I. His
son, Dom Pedro II, ruled from 1831 to 1889, when a federal republic was
established in a coup by Deodoro da Fonseca, marshal of the army.
Slavery had been abolished a year earlier by the Regent Princess Isabel
while Dom Pedro II was in Europe.
From 1889 to 1930, the government was a constitutional democracy, with
the presidency alternating between the dominant states of Sao Paulo and
Minas Gerais. This period ended with a military coup that placed Getulio
Vargas, a civilian, in the presidency; Vargas remained as dictator until
1945. From 1945 to 1961, Eurico Dutra, Vargas, Juscelino Kubitschek, and
Janio Quadros were elected presidents. When Quadros resigned in 1961, he
was succeeded by Vice President Joao Goulart.
Goulart's years in office were marked by high inflation, economic
stagnation, and the increasing influence of radical political elements.
The armed forces, alarmed by these developments, staged a coup on March
31, 1964. The coup leaders chose as president Humberto Castello Branco,
followed by Arthur da Costa e Silva (1967-69), Emilio Garrastazu Medici
(1968-74), and Ernesto Geisel (1974-79) all of whom were senior army
officers. Geisel began a liberalization which was carried further by his
successor, Gen. João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo (1979-85).
Figueiredo not only permitted the return of politicians exiled or banned
from political activity during the 1960s and 1970s but also allowed them
to run for state and federal offices in 1982.
At the same time, an electoral college consisting of all members of
congress and six delegates chosen from each state, continued to choose
the president. In January 1985, the electoral college voted Tancredo
Neves from the opposition Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB)
into office as President. However, Tancredo Neves became ill in March
and died a month later. His Vice President, former Senator Jose Sarney,
became President upon Neves' death.
Brazil completed its transition to a popularly elected government in
1989, when Fernando Collor de Mello won 53% of the vote in the first
direct presidential election in 29 years. In 1992 a major corruption
scandal led to the impeachment and ultimate resignation of President
Collor. Vice President Itamar Franco took his place and governed for the
remainder of Collor's term culminating in the October 3, 1994
presidential elections, when Fernando Henrique Cardoso was elected
President with 54% of the vote. He took office January 1, 1995.
President Cardoso has sought to establish the basis for long-term
stability and growth and to reduce Brazil's extreme socioeconomic
imbalances. His proposals to Congress include constitutional amendments
to open the Brazilian economy to greater foreign participation and to
implement sweeping reforms--including social security, government
administration, and taxation--to reduce excessive public sector spending
and improve government efficiency.
Business Contact List
U.S. Department of Commerce
Office of Latin America and the Caribbean
International Trade Administration
14th and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: 202-482-0428 1-800-U.S.A-TRADE Fax: 202-482-4157
Automated fax service for trade-related info: 202-482-4464
American Chamber of Commerce of Sao Paulo
Rua Alexandre Dumas 1976 04717-004
Sao Paulo SP Brazil
Tel: 55-11-246-9199 Fax: 55-11-246-9080 E-mail: amhostamcham.com.br
Home Page: http://www.amcham.com.br
American Chamber of Commerce of Rio de Janeiro
Praca Pio X-15, 5th Floor
Caixa Postal 916 20040 Rio de Janeiro--RJ-Brazil
Tel: 55-21-203-2477 Fax: 55-21-263-4477
Home Page: http://amchamrio.com.br
Branch also in Salvador
TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION
The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides
Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets. Travel Warnings are
issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel
to a certain country. Consular Information Sheets exist for all
countries and include information on immigration practices, currency
regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and
security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts in
the country. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate
information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-
term conditions overseas which pose significant risks to the security of
American travelers. Free copies of this information are available by
calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-647-5225 or via the fax-
on-demand system: 202-647-3000. Travel Warnings and Consular Information
Sheets also are available on the Consular Affairs Internet home page:
http://travel.state.gov and the Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB).
To access CABB, dial the modem number: (301-946-4400 (it will
accommodate up to 33,600 bps), set terminal communications program to N-
8-1 (no parity, 8 bits, 1 stop bit); and terminal emulation to VT100.
The login is travel and the password is info (Note: Lower case is
required). The CABB also carries international security information from
the Overseas Security Advisory Council and Department's Bureau of
Diplomatic Security. Consular Affairs Trips for Travelers publication
series, which contain information on obtaining passports and planning a
safe trip abroad, can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents,
U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-
7954; telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.
Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be
obtained from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-
5225. For after-hours emergencies, Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-
Passport Services information can be obtained by calling the 24-hour, 7-
day a week automated system ($.35 per minute) or live operators 8 a.m.
to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday ($1.05 per minute). The number is 1-900-
225-5674 (TDD: 1-900-225-7778). Major credit card users (for a flat rate
of $4.95) may call 1-888-362-8668 (TDD: 1-888-498-3648)
Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at
(404) 332-4559 gives the most recent health advisories, immunization
recommendations or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water
safety for regions and countries. A booklet entitled Health Information
for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280) is
available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.
Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and
customs regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to
travelers also may be obtained before your departure from a country's
embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see Principal
Government Officials listing in this publication).
U.S. citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas
are encouraged to register at the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a country
(see Principal U.S. Embassy Officials listing in this publication). This
may help family members contact you in case of an emergency.
Further Electronic Information:
Department of State Foreign Affairs Network. Available on the Internet,
DOSFAN provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy
information. Updated daily, DOSFAN includes Background Notes; Dispatch,
the official magazine of U.S. foreign policy; daily press briefings;
Country Commercial Guides; directories of key officers of foreign
service posts; etc. DOSFAN's World Wide Web site is at
U.S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM (USFAC). Published on a semi-annual basis
by the U.S. Department of State, USFAC archives information on the
Department of State Foreign Affairs Network, and includes an array of
official foreign policy information from 1990 to the present. Contact
the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O.
Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. To order, call (202) 512-1800 or
fax (202) 512-2250.
National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of
Commerce, the NTDB contains a wealth of trade-related information. It is
available on the Internet (www.stat-usa.gov) and on CD-ROM. Call the
NTDB Help-Line at (202) 482-1986 for more information.
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