MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, July 21st 2019 - 17:09 UTC

 

 

Argentina talks to US Treasury Secretary; lifting dollar clamp depends on level of reserves

Monday, December 7th 2015 - 08:44 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Prat-Gay, one of the members of the six-man strong economic cabinet that Macri has established, spoke with Jack Lew by phone Prat-Gay, one of the members of the six-man strong economic cabinet that Macri has established, spoke with Jack Lew by phone
Macri needs financing to shore up depleted Central Bank reserves, investment in major infrastructure works and gain access to international capital markets. Macri needs financing to shore up depleted Central Bank reserves, investment in major infrastructure works and gain access to international capital markets.
Economist and lawmaker Martín Lousteau, Macri’s pick for the Argentine Embassy in Washington, will be part of the effort to lobby the US government Economist and lawmaker Martín Lousteau, Macri’s pick for the Argentine Embassy in Washington, will be part of the effort to lobby the US government

Argentina's incoming Finance minister Alfonso Prat-Gay spoke with the United States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to discuss economic plans to achieve sustained economic growth. The minister also announced in a long interview with Buenos Aires main dailies that lifting the dollar 'clamp' as promised by president-elect Mauricio Macri, will much depend on the level of international reserves Argentina can count with.

 Prat-Gay, one of the members of the six-man strong economic cabinet that Macri has established, spoke with Lew by phone on Friday and later Prat-Gay’s associates expressed that the meeting had been 'very productive' and that it was just the first step in a broader campaign to increase cooperation and to “normalize” relations between Buenos Aires and Washington in this arena.

The US Treasury is reportedly keen to establish a productive relationship with Macri’s economic team.

The US secretary of the Treasury is analogous to the position of Finance minister and plays a decisive role in advising the US president on economic policy matters at both the domestic and international level.

The Macri administration is seeking both financing to shore up depleted Central Bank reserves, international investment in major infrastructure works and gain access to international capital markets. To do so, it will have to find a solution to the ongoing holdout judicial saga. Economist and lawmaker Martín Lousteau, Macri’s pick for the Argentine Embassy in Washington, will be part of that effort as well.

Lousteau will be replacing former ambassador Ceilia Nahon, who concluded her mandate last Monday after nearly three years on the job. Nahón is also an economist, with close ties to outgoing Economy Minister Axel Kicillof, and one of her primary roles was to lobby the US government as part of Argentina's ongoing legal battles with holdout creditors.

Prat-Gay also announced that restrictions on the US dollar imposed by the outgoing government of president Cristina Fernandez will be lifted, as promised during the electoral campaign, as soon as possible, but the central bank must have solid reserves before any move on that direction.

Hopefully Argentine farmers will sell all the grains and oilseeds they have been hoarding waiting for better times, which are estimated could reach some eight billion dollars. To this must be added the new atmosphere and confidence which the victory of business friendly Macri has inspired on markets and allegedly a strong boost, which Prat-Gay said “we expect in a very short time, with God's blessing and before taking office, so it can be announced on 10 December”.

However the incoming minister is aware that the situation remains fragile and so he would not advance any dates for lifting the clamp and also stated that the move won't be isolated since reaching some understanding on prices and salaries is crucial to combat inflation (running in the twenties).

“For this we are hoping to have some results in the next three months, before the next round of salaries and working conditions takes off in mid March” said Prat-Gay.

Categories: Economy, Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • ChrisR

    Mmmm!

    Macri has made a good start with this approach to the US. He will, of course, need to get 'The Vultures' on his side as well if loans are going to be forthcoming.

    This new administration has a mammoth task ahead of itself.

    Anybody want to bet there are ANY actual dollars in the Central Bank? No, I didn't think so.

    Dec 07th, 2015 - 12:29 pm 0
  • chronic

    Gay Prat has a little bit of time on his hands. America can take no action on the rottingroadkill issues until either a Conservative president is elected or the legislative branch is replaced with a liberal one.

    Since it is quite likely that a Republican President will take office in '17, Singer et al will have to be consulted for an analysis of the legal dynamics of any accommodation for rottingroadkill's problems.

    Concurrently rottingroadkill's bilateral arrangements with russia and china will have to be reviewed.at that time.

    It would also be.a proper time to review rottingroadkill's compliance with.previous wto rulings regarding the settlement of outstanding.damages.

    Such a long list of matters to address.

    And then there is the matter of various multinationals with U.S. presences that have issues with recent rotting roadkillian nationalizations.

    Fun times!

    Dec 07th, 2015 - 01:16 pm 0
  • yankeeboy

    The USA govt has no reason to go out of their way to help Argentina. Whether Argentina lives or dies has little bearing on the USA.
    I don't think they'll go out of their way to hinder them but as chronic says there's a lot to do before they could even begin to discuss new business or loans.

    Dec 07th, 2015 - 05:31 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!