UPDATE 1-U.S. drops support for Brazil OECD bid after Trump offered backing -Brazilian sources

(Adds details, background)

BRASILIA, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The U.S. government has not backed Brazil's bid to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development despite a public endorsement by President Donald Trump, according to two Brazilians who saw a U.S. letter to the OECD.

The officials, who asked not to be named because of diplomatic sensitivities, said a letter sent to the club of wealthy nations in late August by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo backed the bids by Argentina and Romania but made no mention of Brazil.

The apparent reversal would be a major snub for right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has held Trump up as a role model and touted U.S. support for Brazil's OECD bid as one of the achievements of his nine-month-old government.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. State Department.

Standing next to Bolsonaro outside the White House on March 19, Trump announced his support for Brazil to become a full member of the OECD, a forum of three dozen democratic nations with solid market economies.

In July, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross reaffirmed the Trump administration's backing for Brazil during a visit to Latin America's largest country.

The United States had opposed Brazil's membership until Trump signaled his new stance, and Brazil was depending on his endorsement to bolster its bid.

In December, a Brazilian government report said the main obstacle to its request to join the OECD, first made in May 2017, was opposition by the United States and the U.S. Trade Representative's office in particular.

In Latin America, only Chile and Mexico are in the club, while Colombia is on track to join soon. (Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Brad Haynes and Peter Cooney)

10/10/2019 19:20

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