Argentina waiting for Obama administration to help balance bilateral trade
Ambassador in Washington Jorge Argüello said that the Argentine Government is concerned with the deficit increase in bilateral trade with the US and is waiting for Barack Obama administration actions to increase the purchase of Argentine goods.
Argüello made his remarks during a meeting at the Washington International Business Council in which the ambassador spoke about the trade policies and Argentine-US economic relations.
Bilateral trade between both countries reached 13, 1 billion dollars last year, which represented a 100% increase in comparison to the volume registered in 2001.
However, over complaints the US made before the World Trade Organization regarding Argentine import policies, Argüello highlighted the fact the trade balance between both countries shows an increasing deficit for Argentina.
“This is a cause for concern for Argentina. The solution is not buying less US goods but increasing Argentine exports. We have yet to have a positive answer from Obama’s administration regarding that issue,” he added.
Last week Rachel Bae, a US attaché before the WTO demanded an “immediate” end of Argentina’s import licensing regime and other curbs which have frustrated foreign suppliers. They include an import licensing regime and an obligation on companies to balance imports with exports.
“Our hope is that Argentina will acknowledge our concerns and terminate these import-restrictive measures and practices immediately,” she said.
“In short, our question for Argentina, again today, is: When will the government put an end to the non-transparent and restrictive measures and practices that have been the source of such longstanding irritation and growing frustration to so many of Argentina's fellow WTO Members?”, said Ms Bae before the WTO.
WTO General Director Pascal Lamy said the organization will be deciding this year if Argentina must lift some of its import restrictions. Earlier this year the European Union filed a complaint before the WTO over steps the administration of President Cristina Fernandez has taken to discourage imports.
“The WTO will decide if Argentina has complied or not with its obligations established under the WTO rules, as requested by the Europeans,” Lamy said.