September 10th, 2021
1. Legislative Primary Elections to be held on Sunday
Next Sunday, obligatory primary elections (PASO) will be held in order to define candidates for the House of Representatives and the Senate. General elections are slated for November 14th. Although voting will take place in all provinces of the country for national deputies, only eight districts will elect senators: Córdoba, Corrientes, Tucumán, Chubut, Santa Fe, Catamarca, Mendoza and La Pampa. In the case of the lower house, 127 seats are up for grabs – representatives elected in the 2017 elections – which was a victory for now-opposition Juntos por el Cambio in thirteen provinces, including the most populated ones; and an election where Peronism was divided (the current ally of the national government, Sergio Massa, had participated with his own candidates in six districts). The Senate will elect 24 new representatives who will replace those elected in the general elections of 2015, when Mauricio Macri managed to access a ballotage, to later be consecrated president. The national ruling party presents unified lists in most districts, they will only have open primaries in Santa Fe, Tucumán, Corrientes, Misiones, Chubut and Neuquén. Juntos, the main opposition alliance, only agreed on a unified list in Jujuy, Formosa, Chaco, Corrientes, San Juan and Neuquén. The elections will be held against an unfavorable economic context for the national ruling party. Poverty levels exceed 42% of the population and year-over-year inflation stands above 51%. Regarding the health situation, the government has been trying for weeks to relax commercial and social restrictions thanks to the progress of the vaccination plan, which has applied 28,572,805 first doses and 17,435,507 second doses.
To access JeffreyGroup’s PASO 2021 report click here.
2. Alberto Fernández participates in Americas climate action summit
President Alberto Fernández led the opening of the virtual Latin American summit on climate development. The president said that “environmental social justice is necessary, which is the new name for development in our administration” and remarked that it is necessary to act urgently. The meeting was also attended by the United States Special Envoy for Climate Change, John Kerry, and the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres. The event is the prelude to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) to be held from October 31st to November 12th.
3. Government criticizes trade agreements between Uruguay and China outside Mercosur
Matías Kulfas, Argentina’s Minister of Productive Development, expressed his opposition to the agreements being negotiated between Uruguay and China. The talks between the two countries are taking place in parallel to the Mercosur negotiations, something that, according to the Argentine government, goes against the rules of the regional trade bloc. In this regard, in the last two meetings of the multilateral organization, Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou argued that it was necessary for Mercosur to achieve a greater degree of economic openness, but this initiative was not supported by the Argentine president Alberto Fernández.
4. Rural representatives meet to respond to meat export restrictions
The Mesa de Enlace, the main entity representing the agricultural and livestock sector, met yesterday to take joint action after the national government’s extended its partial ban on meat exports. The Mesa de Enlace agreed in a statement that “the huge mistake made by official decisions have made us all lose […] we said it when exports were closed years ago. We repeated it when they did it again this year, after having verified the terrible results of the application of these policies. It is a very serious decision whose effects we are already experiencing and, we have no doubt, will deepen in time if it is not reversed.” Meanwhile, President Alberto Fernández assured that the measure was yielding results since “meat prices went down from the moment exports were limited.”
5. Manufacturing falls 2.6% in July
The Manufacturing Industrial Production Index (IPI) developed by the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC) showed a 2.6% drop in July with respect to the previous month, while construction activity grew by 2.1% in the same period. However, the IPI increased by 13% compared to 2020, when the country was in full epidemiological alarm for COVID-19. According to INDEC, the inter-monthly drop was due to technical stoppages for the adaptation of production lines and maintenance in some sectors. It also indicated that, in the analysis by sector, in July there was a year-over-year growth in 14 of the 16 sectors, 10 of them in double digits. The highest increases were recorded in other transportation equipment (88.1% year-on-year) and clothing and footwear (60.9%), followed by motor vehicles (47.0%) and basic metals (39.8%). According to the agency, in July, the Synthetic Indicator of Construction Activity (ISAC) grew 2.1% monthly without seasonality, the second consecutive increase, and reached a level 25.3% higher than the data prior to the pandemic (February 2020). In the year-on-year comparison, it increased 19.8%, thus registering the ninth consecutive increase, after the sharp falls in 2020. Thus, according to INDEC, between January and July, construction accumulated a 53.3% year-on-year growth, also exceeding the January-July 2019 period by 1.1%.