January 7th, 2022
1. The national government presented the International Monetary Fund negotiation details to governors
President Alberto Fernández and the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, received the governors at the government palace’s Bicentennial Museum to report on the negotiations between Argentina and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on the USD 44 billion debt it owes the organization. The President denied the possibility of an “adjustment” or “rate increase” as part of the possible agreement, while Guzmán called for “not having conditions on debt payments to the IMF or on policies.” The Minister stated that the national government’s proposal has four pillars: fiscal, inflation, monetary and financial, and external and exchange rate. The President pointed out the increase in debt between 2015 and 2019 and assured that “in the best case, it will have to be paid in ten years.” Twelve governors participated in the face-to-face meeting, three did so virtually, while the rest sent representatives. The Mayor of the City of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, did not attend or send delegates.
2. New framework for the meat exports until 2023
Through Decree 911/2021, the government established a new framework for the meat industry until December 31, 2023, maintaining the suspension of exports of seven cuts of beef that are consumed domestically, such as: ‘asado’ with or without bone, falda, matambre, tapa de asado, nalga, paleta, and vacío. However, Resolution 301/2021 of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries enabled the export of meat resulting from cows (types D and E), bulls, and bones with meat resulting from deboning. The national government justified these measures by stating that they “generate a balance between the Argentine market and the export of meat products” and “increase production, livestock, and the average slaughter weight, generating predictability for the producer and also increasing production costs.”
3. The 0% tariff for IT and ICT goods was extended until 2028
Through Decree 910/2021, published in the Official Gazette, the government extended the 0% tariff on IT and ICT goods of Differential Extra-Zone Imports until 2028. This measure had been ordered by the Common Market Council (Mercosur) at the last presidents’ summit in December 2021. Made official through Decision 8/21, it authorizes member states to apply different Common External Tariff rates. Official sources confirmed that they will seek to grow the IT industry in the province of Buenos Aires to “increase employment and competitiveness.
4. The Secretariat of Domestic Trade will renew the Precios Cuidados program
The Secretariat of Domestic Trade, led by Roberto Feletti, will renew the fixed price program for mass consumer products known as Precios Cuidados, given that the current extension expired today. The new agreement outlined by Feletti, the Minister of Productive Development, Matías Kulfas, the Minister of Economy, and businessman Martín Guzmán foresees including more than 1,300 products in the basic basket and contemplates 6% quarterly or 2% monthly increases. Guzmán stated that renewing this program represents “a chapter advancing the IMF agreement that remains open.”
5. Significant increase in COVID-19 cases last week
The national Ministry of Health reported 109,608 new cases of COVID-19 and 40 deaths this Thursday, the largest number of cases since the pandemic began. The weekly average number of infections for that day was 59,794. Despite the increase in infections, health authorities will not implement new restrictions for the time being. The Minister of Health of the province of Buenos Aires, Nicolas Kreplak, acknowledged the rise in cases, although he ruled out new limitations to avoid affecting the tourist season. The National Administration of Medicines, Food, and Medical Technology (ANMAT) approved the use of coronavirus self-tests in pharmacies this Wednesday. The national Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, announced that his organization will stop testing those who have been in contact with infected people. These measures seek to avoid crowding testing centers, which were packed with people last week.
Cronista: Coronavirus en Argentina: reportaron más de 95.000 casos, con más muertes y suba de internaciones
La Nación: Explotan los contagios y la cantidad de turistas, pero la Provincia por ahora no analiza restricciones
Clarín: Ante el colapso de los centros de hisopados, la ANMAT aprobó el uso de los autotest de coronavirus
Infobae: Carla Vizzotti: “La situación ha desbordado la posibilidad de hacer la trazabilidad de los contactos estrechos”