US vice-president Mike Pence arrived in Buenos Aires last night before a busy day deepening the bilateral relationship between Argentina and the United States. His visit is just one stop in Pence’s tour of Latin America; on Sunday in Colombia, he promised to secure American borders and assured the region that the US would seek a peaceful resolution to the Venezuelan crisis rather than a military intervention.
At 11:30 am, Pence will meet President Macri in the Olivos residence and participate in a joint press conference with Argentine and international media. They are expected to discuss improving economic ties and resolving the crisis in Venezuela. As Charlie Devereux of Bloomberg reported, the Trump administration is expected to focus on Argentina given its cool relations with other countries in Latin America, and Trump’s long-held relationship with Macri. In April, the two leaders agreed to “strengthen their partnership to fight drug trafficking, launch a task force to counter cyberattacks, and work to preserve democratic institutions in Venezuela.”
Many analysts have predicted that the bilateral relationship will also improve as a result of Macri’s economic reforms and commitment to transparency. According to the Congressional Research Service, “US-Argentine relations have greatly improved under the Macri government compared to under the Kirchner governments, when the bilateral relationship was often tense. Macri’s election brought to power a government that to date has demonstrated a strong commitment to constructive bilateral relations.”
However, Cynthia Arnson of the Wilson Center noted that the Trump administration’s protectionist policies have already negatively impacted Argentina. The administration’s cancellation of a lemon import agreement and the US International Trade Commission’s new investigation into alleged Argentine dumping of soy oil have increased tensions.
Earlier this morning, Pence visited José de San Martín’s tomb at the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Holocaust Memorial.
— Vice President Pence (@VP) August 15, 2017
At 2 pm this afternoon, Pence is expected to speak at the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange in downtown BA.
In order to create a constructive dialogue on trade, at 4:30 pm, representatives of 80 multinationals will meet at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Recoleta to continue the memorandum of understanding between the US Chamber of Commerce and Argentina’s Business Convergence form.
Pence’s visit will disrupt public transportation routes today. Around 1:30 pm, the area around the Recoleta Cemetery will be blocked. At 2:30, the same will occur near Teatro Colón and three subte lines will also have different operations today for the US vice-president’s visit: the A Line will operate between the Piedras and San Pedrito stations; the D Line will operate between 9 de Julio and Congreso de Tucumán; and the E Line will operate between Belgrano and Virreyes.