Jorge Castro: "The Government Of Alberto Fernández Must Have a Strategic Agreement With Donald Trump"

Infobae spoke with the international analyst Jorge Castro about what the victory of the Frente de Todos in the region means and what its consequences might be. Also on the priorities of the new government in foreign policy material.

The formula of Alberto Fernández and Cristina Kirchner has already received congratulations from the main left leaders in the region and announcements of working together "in favor of Latin American unity" and the "Patria Grande".

– What should be the priority of the new government in foreign policy?

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-The absolute priority of the next government of Alberto Fernández, as of December 10, is the one that arises from the situation facing Argentina in 2020. The country has to face payments of USD 25,000 million for its public debt obligations. In the event that it fails to refinance these obligations, the country will be forced to adjust public spending by more than 6 points of GDP. This adjustment would be even greater than Mauricio Macri did in the last two years. Therefore, an agreement with the IMF makes it inexcusable and inescapable, first of all, to refinance private debt with a core on Wall Street.

– What does this agreement with the IMF depend on?

-The agreement with the Fund is subject to a prior agreement of the government of Alberto Fernández with the government of Donald Trump. Therefore, the absolute priority in foreign policy of the new government should be a strategic political agreement with the president of the United States.

-Today Bolsonaro said that “Argentina chose badly” and that he did not intend to congratulate the new elected president until “seeing what his real position in politics is” How can he continue the relationship with Brazil?

-For Argentina as a country, the relationship with Brazil within the framework of Mercosur is absolutely a priority. At this time, the relationship between Alberto Fernández and Bolsonaro is virtually broken. But at the same time, the Bolsonaro government – through its Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes – has already informed the Argentine government that it will proceed to reduce the common external tariff towards third Mercosur countries, taking it in half within a period of four years. From the current level 13.5 average point average to a level 6% average in that period.

-What does this reduction in tariffs mean for Mercosur?

– That the Brazilian economy, unilaterally with respect to Mercosur, will proceed to reduce its external tariffs on an equal scale. The Brazilian economy, which is the most closed in the world, will open in a period of 4 four years. It will decrease from 13 to 35% that it currently has, in half, in all cases. And what the Bolsonaro government has already told Mauricio Macri is that, in case Argentina does not agree with this opening process, Brazil will denounce Mercosur as a customs union with a common external tariff towards third countries, and simply transform it into a free trade zone. This is what is behind this succession of critical expressions of President Bolsonaro towards the next government of Alberto Fernández.

-What implications will it have for Argentina?

-The Argentine economy will be affected because Brazil is the main market for Argentine exports. The Brazilian market is essential for the exports of the automotive industry that, in more than 80%, are directed towards a single market, the neighboring country. Therefore, for Argentina, the relationship with Brazil is absolutely a priority, so here is a vital issue that makes the national interest more strict.

-Cristina Kirchner was critical last night to celebrate the triumph of the situation that Chile is going through and Alberto Fernández had also been in the campaign. Can you change the relationship with that country from the new government of the Front of All?

– Alberto Fernández will not have any problem in maintaining the state of relations between Argentina and Chile with Sebastián Piñera in the same terms in which Macri has carried them out. The president-elect has a very pragmatic idea of ​​international relations, and in the case of Chile there is no conflict between the two countries.

-Alberto Fernández already made public a moderate position on Venezuela in line with the leaders of Uruguay and Mexico, aligned with the so-called Grupo Puebla, instead of the Lima Group that is part of Argentina, very critical of the government of Nicolás Maduro. How do you see that international turn for the country?

-The first point to agree with the government of Donald Trump on behalf of Alberto Fernández is what will be the position of the new Argentine government and whether or not he maintains a drastic opposition to the regime in Venezuela led by Maduro. This is the central point of the negotiation with the United States. Trump sets his policy with the different countries in the region according to his position on Venezuela. This is not a matter of defining the category of political science about whether it is an authoritarian regime or a dictatorship, it is a matter of participating – or not – in the isolation and sanction process carried out by the different countries of South America, plus the States United, towards the regime of Nicolás Maduro.

-So, is the position that Argentina adopts with respect to Venezuela key?

– It is the central point of the negotiation with Trump. And without this, there is no agreement with the United States, and without agreement with Trump there is no agreement with the IMF.

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