While the Argentine government remained silent, European Union country ambassadors showed up at the Argentine Congress Thursday in order to protest against food import restrictions. The ambassadors, however, saved their criticisms and instead spoke in a conciliatory tone before the Lower House Foreign Affairs Committee, although they did not hide their “growing worry.”
“I'm going to stick with what I heard from the Industry Minister (Débora Giorgi), that Argentina is going to comply with its commitments and with the World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations,” said Spanish Ambassador Rafael Estrella.
The diplomat made these statements to the press after leaving the meeting and added that “deputies manifested themselves to be on the same page.”
The Argentine government remained silent before the protests of the European Union due to the restrictions placed on imported foods with origin in countries members of the European Union. After the European protest, which followed Brazil's, neither Government House or the Foreign Ministry emitted an official reply.
The European Union asked Argentina on Wednesday not to impede the entrance of food imports to its market, a measure that President Cristina Kirchner's administration has yet to make official, but that is implemented by Trade Secretary Guillermo Moreno with instructions “on the phone.” The ambassadors were summoned to the Foreign Affairs Committee, led by Federal Peronist Alfredo Atanasof.
From Europe, the claim came about after sources of the Argentine industry reported trade restrictions that began to be applied in the last few days on products that are also elaborated locally. The European Union asked that “said restrictions, if applied, would be incompatible with the regulations of the World Trade Organization and with the commitments acquired by Argentina in the G-20 framework.”
Spanish Ambassador Rafael Estrella said his country “trusts Argentina will honour its commitment to the World Trade Organization and will not ban foreign food imports [...] There's a 70 to 1 ratio between Argentine foods and products coming from the European Union,” he explained, by saying that Argentine products have a larger presence than EU products.