Unfortunately for Argentina, it looks like Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne’s claim on the impact Trump’s protectionism would have on the nation was a little bit optimistic.
Dujovne had originally stated that, due to Argentina’s relatively closed economy and encouraging figures that showed promises of reaching the growth target of 3.5%, protectionism within the U.S. which is likely to increase under Trump’s presidency would only have a ‘marginal’ effect. However, Trump has already grabbed Argentina by the lemons – banning imports for 60 days – and that’s just the start.
It looks like lemons might not be the only crop getting the chop from The States. It’s expected that President Trump’s new protectionist policies, “We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American” , could affect several other areas of the agricultural industry. At the minute these areas are awaiting approval from Trump to be a part of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).
Although the Obama administration had said the US planned for Argentina to regain access to the General System of Preferences (GSP), this was never formalized. Meaning that now multiple other agribusiness products are having to wait for the current US President’s approval in order to re-enter the States without paying excessive import taxes and other tariffs.
The GSP is a preferential tariff system that provides a legal framework to help countries and trade blocs avoid paying some of the import tariffs set by the World Trade Organization, eliminating duties on up to 5,000 types of products when imported from one of 122 locations.
According to estimates made by the Ministry of Production, the value of these goods amounts to a whopping US $400 million. Products that could be among those targeted are: Biodiesel, aluminum and regional products.
A formal process has already been initiated, with a public hearing having taken place on the 10th of January, convened by the United States Trade Office to support the case. According to the established schedule, all parties involved – and not only the Argentine government – have until today to present the comments referred to in the hearing.
Ultimately; however, it will have to be Trump’s new administration to put the seal on the agreement.