Argentina's new Cabinet Chief Juan Manzur is said to be speeding up the path towards the lifting of caps on meat exports in an attempt to bring in hard currency as the government of President Alberto Fernández desperately tries to recover from defeat at Sept. 12's Mandatory, Simultaneous and Open Primary (PASO) elections.
Two days after leading a meeting with the Liaison Board, the newly-appointed Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Julián Domínguez, met Saturday with Fernández and Manzur to discuss tensions amid rural producers.
The President of the Nation entrusted me to work to recover dialogue as a key tool for the progress and care of the food security of Argentines, Domínguez posted on his Twitter account. The minister is now to meet this week with leaders of the Rural Society, the Argentine Rural Confederations, the Agrarian Federation and Coninagro.
Since taking office last Monday, Manzur has followed his agenda, in clear contrast with his predecessor and current Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, who was very much aligned with the presidential roadmap.
Argentine Agrarian Federation (FAA) President Carlos Achetoni said he hoped Dominguez can achieve the opening of meat exports, but regretted it was a political setback that led to this possibility, fearing that things could happen again if the ruling party manages to bounce back at the upcoming Nov. 14 mid-term elections.
Meanwhile, Coninagro's interim president Elbio Laucirica was slightly inclined to believing this time around “there will be a change in the Government's attitude” and that it shall not be guided in the future by “speculation on electoral policies.” Laucirica praised Domínguez's expertise on rural matters and “is determined to find a definitive solution to the issue,” of meat export limits.
Domínguez is also to meet with governors of livestock producing provinces to advance towards a solution to the crisis. La Pampa Governor Sergio Ziliotto was already at the Casa Rosada last week for talks with Manzur and Domínguez.
Other governors demanding a solkution are Juan Schiaretti (Córdoba), Gustavo Bordet (Entre Ríos) and Omar Perotti (Santa Fe).
Bordet has agreed on the need to increase productivity levels but has also expressed concern over the future of meat processing plant workers in his province hit by the restrictions. We are asking Minister Domínguez ... to solve this conflict,” he pointed out.
We understand it is logical that the national government applies policies to contain the rise in prices, but we already know from previous experiences that limiting exports does not correct this situation,” he added.