Argentine President Milei implements decree to stimulate exports and deregulation

Anarcho-capitalist, Argentine libertarian President Javier Milei has signed a decree announcing a set of economic reforms to resolve the country's dire situation.

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FILE PHOTO: Argentina's President Javier Milei looks on as he attends a Hanukkah celebration in Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 12, 2023. REUTERS/Tomas Cuesta//File Photo

Milei stated in a televised address that these reforms are only the beginning of an effort to renew freedom, autonomy and sweep away regulations which have been obstacles for economic development.

Milei says this is only the first step. Milei stated, “the objective is to return freedom and autonomy to individuals and start dismantling the enormous amount of regulations that have impeded, hindered, and stopped economic growth.”

According to Reuters, while no state-owned companies were named, the reforms do aim to privatize such firms. In fact, privatizing the state-run oil company YPF was something that Milei had long advocated. Milei, who returned from a trip abroad to assume the office of premier on December 10, has promised vigorous action in transforming the economy. He is likely to propose substantial cuts as part of efforts to bring triple digit inflation under control and jump-start economic growth.

Milei’s ruling administration faces a tide of public displeasure driven by popular support, and has in response sharply depreciated the local peso. Similarly, the government is preparing to raise taxes on Argentina’s grain exports. Such moves have resulted in criticism and protests. It turns out that grain exports are a key source of foreign currency reserves for the central bank.

Thousands rallied in Buenos Aires to protest against the government’s austerity measures, led by representatives advocating for increased support for the unemployed.

In the first half of this year, Argentina’s poverty rate rose to more than 40 %, highlighting how pressing the reform is.

Milei’s government faces the challenge of balancing economic adjustments with public demands for social support amid the ongoing crisis.

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