Uruguayan President José Mujica admitted trade relations with Argentina are “very complicated” because of the import restrictions implemented by the government of President Cristina Fernández and did not discard ‘mirror’ measures to counter
“Trade relations with Argentina are very complicated because they adopted certain policies that can trigger many obstacles” Mujica told the newspaper of Uruguayan government tabloid La República.
“The situation with Argentina is not easy because it has several angles” admitted Mujica but also questioned some Uruguayan industrial proposals, such as to denounce Argentina to the World Trade Organization (WTO), as this may affect tourism and real estate investments Argentines make in Uruguay.
Mujica said that ”this is not a simple problem and I’m hell scared because of the enormous ingenuity showed by Uruguayan businessmen, who have reason to grumble, but sometimes they come up with proposals that obviously haven’t been given enough thinking.”
Regarding the possibility of counter measures, Mujica said Uruguay also has its own domestic market which means many Argentine produce are sold in Uruguayan supermarkets and stores “so it might be convenient for some of our manufacturers that they (Argentina) sell less of that they face caps”
“Some call them ‘mirror’ measures, and although I don’t support them, something will have to be done. Domestic markets are valuable assets”, concluded Mujica.
Statements came after Argentina started to require non-automatic import licenses, thus affecting Uruguayan sales of products such as textiles, paper, cardboard and plastic.
The textile and garments industries complain that almost 20 million dollars exports have been blocked with the non automatic licences, and that for garments March is decisive since that is the last date malls will receive merchandise for the coming season.
Newsprint, magazines and books have also been blocked by the new measures implemented by Argentina.