Contributed by Bianca Fernet. Sometimes I have to hand it to the Argentine government – their systematic clampdown on the movement of goods and capital across their borders is creeping along just enough to make international headlines about once a week without incurring any real domestic outcry to speak of. But now they have a new thing.
The US, Japan, and Mexico followed the EU’s lead and filed complaints at the WTO against Argentina’s import restrictions. Argentina promptly responded with its own complaint—against the US for blocking imports of beef and lemons. Yet, its beef market is one of the top 10 most protected in the world—and not in favor of its own beef producers! Just to keep the country glued together for a little while longer.
Contributed by Bianca Fernet. Argentina is the perfect example of trade barriers, exhibiting a tantalizing web of import and export tariffs, quota systems, subsidies, licensing schemes, and local content requirements, all along with a healthy dose of corruption. One of the reasons I love living in Buenos Aires is that it is like living in an economics textbook. Argentina’s most ‘popular’ textbook economic blunder is capital restrictions.
Contributed by Bianca Fernet. It’s the longest subway strike in Argentina’s history. The shutdown began Friday a week ago, and as I write, the end is still not in sight. The Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires is home to over 12 million people, and over 1.1 million trips are taken on the Subte every day. These people now cram themselves onto the congested streets. Transportation has ground to a crawl, the bus system is overburdened, traffic chokes the streets. Due to politics and money.
Contributed by Bianca Fernet. The winter weather is not the only thing chilling the bones of Argentina’s residents. Since late July, a new set of words has been showing up in the articles about the economy. Shrinks. Slows. Stagflation. These chilling terms are being used to describe the consequences of what some nasty looking economic indicators might have in store. Argentina, an alternative path for indebted Eurozone countries? Not so fast!
Contributed by Bianca Fernet. Argentina is known for its myriad of protests against price increases, lack of wage increases, benefits for veterans, laws regulating the sale of goods on the street, lack of funding for schools, increases in subway prices…. These protests are accompanied by much more disruptive behavior than clanging pots and pans. Yet are treated as commonplace occurrences, like a minor traffic collision