Argentine President Alberto Fernández used a White House meeting on Wednesday to highlight the economic pressure his country faces as it seeks President Joe Biden to back Argentina’s efforts to renegotiate with the International Monetary Fund on the terms of a $44 billion debt.
The United States has veto power at the IMF, so any sign of Biden’s support for revising the debt deal’s requirements would be seen as a positive for Argentina as the talks continue.
In comments to reporters at the start of their meeting, Fernández noted that Argentina’s economy has endured the country’s “worst drought” in more than 90 years. He also noted that Russia’s war in Ukraine has had ripple effects on the economy of his country and others.
“We look forward to your continued support as you have done so far,” Fernández said.
Washington is increasingly concerned about China’s involvement in Argentina, particularly the planned construction of two nuclear power plants in Buenos Aires by Chinese companies, and may demand concessions from Argentina in return for government support. IMF.
Biden did not directly address the issue of the IMF, but said the timing offered an opportunity to strengthen U.S.-Argentina economic ties.
“I think we have a huge opportunity to increase our economic exchanges, our economic integration on everything from clean energy to critical minerals to technology and security,” Biden said.
The leaders’ meeting was originally scheduled to take place last July but was postponed when Biden contracted COVID-19.