Agricultural Export Taxes Slashed in Argentina
December 15, 2015 By Staff
Top Story — Export taxes for Argentina’s major agricultural products will be eliminated beginning on Tuesday, President Mauricio Macri announced during a meeting with the Argentine Industrial Union on Monday.
Export taxes will no longer apply to corn, wheat, fish and meat, while export taxes on soy will be reduced from 35 to 30 percent. Monday’s announcement signals a shift from former President Cristina Fernández’s high-tax economic model, which helped finance social welfare programs.
The Fernández administration maintained export taxes high in order to maintain a keep domestic prices low for grain, meat and dairy, according to The Associated Press, while also relying on such taxes to fund federal welfare programs. But farmers sparred with Fernández over the tax model, arguing that it distorted crop production, while economists estimate that crop hoarding, as a result of the taxes, has resulted in multi-billion dollar losses.
Slashing export taxes for agricultural products was one of Macri’s campaign promises before narrowly winning the presidential election on Nov. 22, ahead of ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli. Macri’s election has renewed optimism among foreign investors, although Fernández’s supporters fear that his government will benefit solely the elites.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
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- The U.S. Secretary of Health Human Services voiced concern over the lack of funds available to handle the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S-Mexico border in a letter obtained by The Associated Press, saying that she fears a repeat of 2014 will occur, when children were “left at the border for unacceptable periods of time.”
- After a year of debate, Mexico announced a small 4.2 percent increase to its minimal wage for 2016, raising it to 73.04 pesos (roughly $4.30). Some public figures, however, are already dismissing the increase as insufficient to cover the cost of living.
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- Puerto Rico’s Governor Alejandro García Padilla announced Monday that he will not be running for re-election, and instead will focus all his attention to solving the island’s debt crisis.
- Meanwhile, in an opinion piece on BloombergView, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn urged Congress to give Puerto Rico bankruptcy protection
in order to save the island from a potential humanitarian crisis whose magnitude and effect on the United States they say “cannot be overstated.”
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- Former Honduran President Rafael Callejas flew to the United States Monday to face charges for his alleged connection to the multi-billion dollar corruption scandal at FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, after he was accused of taking bribes in an early December indictment.
- Although the United States encouraged Central American governments to resolve the migration crisis that has thousands of Cubans en route to the United States stranded at the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border, a top U.S. diplomat in Havana said Washington has no plans to intervene or amend its favorable immigration policies towards Cubans.
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- A piece from The Guardian questions whether new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can halt alleged abuses in Guatemala from mining company Tahoe Resources, whose militarized response to peaceful demonstrations in the country were detailed in a recently published report and have contributed to a “quasi-war scenario” in the region.
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- Brazil’s national currency, the real, declined to its lowest point in the past six weeks, making it the worst-performing currency of the year among 31 world currencies.
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- Chile’s civil aviation authority, which includes air traffic controllers, has announced a 48-hour strike planned for this Thursday and Friday, a decision that could potentially cause major delays at airports before the holiday season.