The United States has thrown its support behind recently-elected Argentine President Javier Milei during talks held in Buenos Aires on Saturday, December 9th.
According to US presidential adviser Juan Gonzalez who is also the senior director for the National Security Council in the Western Hemisphere, the discussions centered on Argentina’s economy which has taken a battering over the past several years, especially during the two years of the global pandemic.
As Gonzalez puts it, the economy is set to become Milei’s foremost priority. Likewise, the primarily agricultural nation has to come up with a revised economic plan with representatives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF.)
The US delegation also steered discussions towards the American government and private sector’s assistance in boosting the Argentine lithium industry. The country is currently ranked fourth among the world’s largest lithium-producing nations, and the US hopes to help it expand its reach beyond simply being a source of the crucial metal. Gonzalez explained that the US means to help the local industry move up on the sector’s value chain.
What Milei Now Faces
The new President has found himself with quite a staggering load on his shoulders, especially when it comes to the economy.
At present, around two-fifths of Argentinians live below the poverty line and inflation has ballooned close to 150%. It has not helped that the $144 billion IMF program has been derailed by several factors, while the country’s net reserves are in negative territory in the face of a recession.
Following his inauguration, Milei plans to implement what he calls a shock therapy plan that is meant to return the economy to a more even keel. But while this plan is meant to regulate government spending, it could also spell grief for the public, at least in the first phase of its implementation.