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The new tariffs distinguish between large agri-food exporters and small and medium ones.
After Argentina’s biggest agricultural producers launched Monday a four-day strike against President Alberto Fernandez’s decision to increase tariffs on soybean exports, organizations from the Union of Workers of the Popular Economy (UTEP) convened in Buenos Aires where they installed a fair to supply products in support of the president and his measure.
The organizations in defense of the new tariffs said there was a need for such measures to be taken in order to redistribute the wealth obtained “from our territories,” as well as the access to the land for small and medium producers. They argued it is the only alternative for a development project that puts the people and their wellbeing at the center of the economic debate in the country.
The new measure distinguishes between large agri-food exporters and small and medium ones. It has been ratified as part of the economic emergency law passed by Congress last December.
The UTEP, along with other movements of small producers, peasants, and Indigenous workers of the land, said in a statement that “the new tariffs system, in addition to being approved by law, benefits more than 70 percent of soybean producers, and promotes and supports regional economies.”
Argentina's government increased the tariffs on soybean exports last week. Soya in Argentina is the most important export commodity and tariffs have risen from 30 to 33 percent. The rise was harshly opposed by big landowners and producer unions who stopped grain and livestock trading for four days starting Monday.
The South American nation has been in an economic downturn for almost two years. It owes the IMF US$44 billion, part of a record US$57 billion loans taken by former President Mauricio Macri's government.
Itis currently suffering from annual inflation of more than 50 percent, sharp currency depreciation and an increase in poverty to almost 40 percent.
After taking office in December, President Alberto Fernandez rejected the remaining disbursements and demanded that the IMF and other creditors renegotiated terms, capital, and interest.