Argentina lawmaker from the province of Chubut, Gustavo Menna has called on the central government to eliminate export duties on fishery products, fruits, ovine meat and wool. The initiative was also drafted by lawmakers Lorena Matzen and Roxana Reyes from the provinces of Rio Negro and Santa Cruz.
Menna argues that the pandemic and restrictive measures on peoples' circulation, --well intended and well applied-- have had an impact on global trade, both in volume and prices, overall activity and the GDP of the different countries.
World Bank, --Menna quoted--, is forecasting for Argentina the second most significant 2020 GDP fall in the region, 5,2% only behind Mexico with a 6% drop.
The lawmaker underlined that once the pandemic eases production infrastructure must be put back on its feet again, with private companies supported to ensure jobs, and mentioned that in some countries, more precisely in the so called central countries, support and sustain measures have reached 10 to 15% of GDP while in others it is only 5%.
Menna mentioned that wool in its different variants was selling at an average 8 to 10 dollars a kilo in 2018, but now only makes US$ 3,50. Likewise with fruit and fishery products. Fisheries employ 25,000 people and are the eighth Argentine export sector, with a very special relevance for Patagonia and its long coastline and ports. He then mentioned that fishery exports to China have dropped 62.6%, to Spain, 34,9% and 41,6% to Brazil, the three main markets for Argentina.
It is not the same to apply duties to exports with strong demand and profitable prices than, in the current pandemic situation, to apply them to fruit and wool, which ends up receiving a price not only exposed to duties, but to the multiple exchange rates system which has an impact on all dollarized imported inputs. Thus the need to eliminate export duties to help Patagonia, its economy, jobs and production infrastructure, underlines lawmaker Menna.