Bullrich proposes dual-currency system against Milei’s dollarization

The presidential candidate said the dollar should become legal tender in Argentina

Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich rejected her contender Javier Milei’s trademark dollarization proposal and said that, if elected, she would apply a “dual currency system” where both the peso and the US dollar would be legal tender.

Speaking at the sixth El Campo y la Política (Countryside and Politics, in English) international congress, Bullrich said that dollarizing the economy would mean “not being able to choose our own tender and make us ‘eat’ the US inflation.” The event was organized by Coninagro, an organization made up of rural cooperatives from all over the country.

Bullrich has been proposing a dual currency since she announced her presidential bid last year. However, she hasn’t given details about how she would do it.

The former security minister said she would start with “a zero deficit and fiscal soundness budget to lower this inflation that is killing [Argentina], creates uncertainty” and doesn’t let the country “move forward.”

You may also be interested in: OK, but what about de-dollarizing?

Milei’s dollarization proposal includes the closure of the Central Bank, the abolition of the peso, and the use of the US dollar as an official currency. Last week, the far-right libertarian also said that he would break diplomatic and commercial ties with Brazil and China if elected president because he considers them to be “communist” countries. 

In response, Bullrich defended Argentina’s bilateral relationship with Brazil and said it’s a “strategic associate.”

“We don’t care about who the president is,” Bullrich said, “We care about Brazil as a country and that’s how we define [commercial] relationships.”

Bullrich also reiterated her proposal to eliminate all export duties for agricultural products, but unlike before the primary elections — when she said she would do it on the first day of her government — she said this would be done progressively.

In this system, while export duties are being phased out, the remaining duties paid to the state would become credit for agricultural producers.

“There is going to be a mechanism to retain part of the money that is going to turn into credit in the future, but that will all go to the producers,” she said. “They will be savings the producers can access after some time, while we lower public spending.”

You may also be interested in: Patricia Bullrich: the security and order hawk with a Peronist past

— With information from Télam

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