I recently obtained a Brazilian tourist visa for a trip in January. Whereas the visa fee for most countries like EU members or Japan is $20, U.S. citizens are singled out for a $160 fee, which is classified as a "reciprocal fee" (and the clerk at the consulate made sure to emphasize that when I submitted the application). And when I go, I fully expect the full interrogation, fingerprints, etc., while my Japanese wife will be waved right through.
It's just a blatant tit-for-tat move to get back at U.S. immigration policies. I frankly don't see how it benefits Brazil in any way, but I can hardly blame them.
Interesting thing, though, is that while my wife's $20 visa is valid for a 90-day period, my $150 visa is good for ten years.