Today, President Mauricio Macri is meeting with petroleum and other energy executives in Houston, Texas to talk more about Argentina’s potential for energy production. Later this afternoon, he and First Lady Juliana Awada will fly to Washington D.C. for tomorrow’s meeting with US President Donald Trump, staying overnight at the Blair House. There, the presidents will meet in the oval office, have lunch and visit Congress.
Peter Schechter, the vice president of the Atlantic Council, spoke about Argentina’s bilateral relation with the US: “[Macri is] successful, [Argentina is] an important country, but it is not a country that is a big problem for the United States.” Schechter reassures, however, that not being a problem is a positive thing: “All the world wants Argentina to be a model, an example of overcoming Populism.”
Schechter wishes the Cambiemos party well as the October elections loom: “It is as if we were all spectators on a field, cheering for the same team, but still the team has not finished and have to play [the game] until the last second.”
With similarities in mind, part of the agenda for the visit will be to create distinction between Brazil and Argentina to the United States. According to La Nación, “‘Macri is taking the cake over the Brazilians. Brazil’s visible absence of a relationship with the United States, relations bilateral or hemispherical, are being capitalized [by] others, like Mexico, despite the challenges, Chile, Argentina or Peru.” Forging ties with the new administration, then, is a priority — before neighbors cozy-up first.
Macri and Trump also plan to discuss Venezuela and its political crisis, but the productivity of international conversation is questionable. Macri’s visit lands two days before Trump’s first 100 days. As Trump says, his policy is the “United States first.” As none of his 10 promised laws have been passed (and some haven’t even been proposed), the efficacy of the presidents’ international discourse will likely suffer.