Newly designated Argentine Ambassador to the US Fernando Oris de Roa touches down in Washington later this week and will hit the ground running, as he announced that Argentina intends to file a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the biodiesel duties dispute. Oris de Roa has stated that it comes as part of a ‘mature relationship’, adding that it will have no impact on bilateral relations.
In recent months, the US has increased duties on biodiesel exports from Argentina up to 72 percent, after the ruling in November that Argentine producers had received “unfair” subsidies for the biodiesel production process. The Bubble previously reported on Argentina’s options regarding the biodiesel dispute and the possibility of heading to the WTO with the case has been chosen as the way forward. Though different in circumstance, the WTO sided with Argentina in a biodiesel dispute with the European Union last year. Oris de Roa believes that both countries recognize the need to use all available alternatives to solve this issue.
In an interview with Infobae, the Argentine ambassador discussed his hopes for an immediate “active agenda” in order to create new trade scenarios, stating that the Embassy will focus on the quality of the products, services, and technologies imported to the US rather than trying to solely address the negative trade balance head on.
Oris de Roa also spoke with Clarin last week, in which he stated that the US interest in Argentina can be considered political, while the Argentine interest in the US is largely economic. The new ambassador stated that opening up the American market to Argentine exports is a way of reducing poverty, reducing the fiscal deficit and creating jobs, three objectives upon which the Macri administration has heavily focused on.
Oris de Roa underscored the importance of normalizing relations with the US to increase the confidence of American businesses for investing in Argentina, since he stated that an intelligent and active renewed relationship generates both confidence and respect. He added that although American businesses have taken note of the political changes taking place in Argentina, the country must push forward with its public policies to secure further investments.
Although he is not entirely well-known in the diplomatic sphere in Argentina or the States, Oris de Roa has a decorated resume in the private sector with decades of experience in the agriculture (lemons!) and mining sectors. A seasoned businessman, Oris de Roa can be seen as well-suited for President Trump’s administration which is primarily run by those formerly in the private sector.
This ambassadorship has been vacant in Washington since Martín Lousteau left his post in April to run for a House of Deputies seat in the October mid-term elections. He will report his credentials to the Trump administration on January 24th to make his post official. The US ambassador to Argentina position has not yet been filled since then President-Elect Trump recalled politically appointed ambassadors in early January 2017 before his inauguration.