In 1994, the situation of the Brazilian market was dramatically different from today. After years of grinding hyperinflation that led to a huge financial crisis, a new currency—the Brazilian Real—was conceived and prevailed ever since. At the time, center-right Finance Minister Fernando Henrique Cardoso earned the plaudits for the “Real Plan,” being elected president in the same year.
Another important milestone in the recent history of trade deals occurred that year in the U.S., while the Brazilian national football team won its fourth World Cup in Pasadena. In January, the U.S. economy approved the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which would transform regional relations and put beneficiaries Mexico and Canada on a new global economic footing.