AmCham president hails reform, calls for political accord

The statement came during the opening of AmCham’s 2024 Summit

Facundo Gómez Minujín, president of the United States Chamber of Commerce in Argentina (AmCham Argentina), called on Argentina’s policymakers to put aside their differences to strike “accords to create a viable Argentina.”

Speaking at the opening of the AmCham Summit, Minujín, who is also J.P. Morgan Argentina’s senior country officer, lamented what he termed excessive state spending. Minujín stressed that “an economy driven by subsidies is unsustainable,” calling on Argentina’s political leaders to “change models”, 

Addressing the audience at the Buenos Aires Convention Center, Minujín hailed what he described as President Javier Milei’s drive to “attack past distortions.” 

“For decades, they wanted us to believe that the state was the only one capable of advancing Argentina.” “The private sector,” he said, “is the only one capable of generating wealth.”

Noting that Milei’s presidency is still in its nascent stages, he celebrated the libertarian president’s proposed “May pact,” which he extolled as an “historic and unprecedented milestone in the course of Argentine politics.”

Earlier this month, in his opening speech before Congress, Milei appealed to the country’s 23 provincial governors, plus the Buenos Aire City mayor, to sign the pact, a political agreement named for Argentina’s May Revolution, a national holiday. 

Milei proposed the accord on the heels of a tense standoff between the federal and provincial governments. The president blamed gubernatorial opposition for the failure of his omnibus bill, a massive legislative initiative that would have significantly deregulated the Argentine economy, and declared a public emergency in economic, financial, security, tariff, energy, and administrative issues through the end of the year. During that period, Milei would have had legislative authority.

The bill was ultimately defeated in Congress. Days later, Milei announced cuts to federal funds transfers to the country’s provinces, some of which rely heavily on federal finances. The announcement drew condemnation from a number of the country’s governors. Ignacio Torres, governor of Chubut, threatened to halt oil and gas shipments from his province to the rest of the country. 

In what was seemingly an effort to ease tensions, Milei called on policymakers across various levels and branches of government to sign the “May pact.” The 10-point accord centers around “non-negotiable” efforts towards fiscal balance, public spending cuts, and tax, pension, and labor reforms.

Celebrating the pact, Minujín called for a broad political accord to reduce uncertainty for private sector investors. The following speaker, Buenos Aires City Mayor Jorge Macri, echoed Minujín’s call for accord, imploring political leaders to put aside their personal differences and emphasizing that Argentina is on the precipice “of an era of change.”


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald