September 24, 2019
2:15 - 3:45 PM
Center for Economic and Policy Research, AFL-CIO, ITUC/Global Unions Washington Office, Our Revolution
*Note: Location Change:
Longworth House Office Building, Room 1302
15 Independence Ave SE
Washington, DC 20515
A discussion on Argentina's spiraling economic crisis, controversial IMF bailout program, upcoming elections, and future relations with the US.
Introductory remarks by:
Rep. Pramila Jayapal
Brian Finnegan, AFL-CIO
Cecilia Nahón, former Ambassador of Argentina to the United States and Honorary Director of the American University Model G20 Initiative
Martin Guzman, Director, Columbia University Initiative for Policy Dialogue’s Program on Debt Restructuring
Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
Lara Merling, Economic Research Officer, ITUC/Global Unions Washington Office
The economic crisis in Argentina continues to intensify, with high inflation, rising poverty, and decreasing investor confidence. The implementation of a record $57 billion IMF bailout program, rather than alleviating Argentina’s economic woes, has seen poverty and unemployment rise, and a surge in debt levels. Argentinian political sentiment was tested in August, when voters went to the primary polls and delivered a decisive defeat to President Mauricio Macri and his ruling coalition. With a nearly 16-point lead, Alberto Fernández and his running mate, former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, are in a strong position to win the general presidential election on October 27. Their broad-based, progressive coalition is also poised to capture the legislature and key governorships, significantly reshaping Argentina’s political terrain.
In light of these developments, the experts on this panel analyzed the implications of the upcoming elections for Argentina, Latin America, and US-Argentina relations. They also explored policy solutions for addressing Argentina's economic difficulties, drawing lessons from the country's economic debacle. Finally, they addressed the steps that the US and the international community can take, particularly within international financial institutions like the IMF, to help developing countries tackle the problem of unsustainable debt without sacrificing economic growth and generating intolerable burdens for working people.