December 10, 2013
CFK: 'There is no bigger protectionism than that of world powers'
With a busy agenda prior to her G20 Summit address, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner renewed her criticism of so called world powers’ "protectionism" and warned about a “crisis of the multilateral system” both in the economic and political arenas.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner made the statements after a meeting with Brazilian Roberto Azevedo who will be formally assuming the presidency of the World Trade Organization (WTO) tomorrow.
Ahead of the official opening of the G20 Summit, the President and Azevedo gathered at St. Peterburg’s Constantine Palace joined by Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and Foreign Police Secretary Beatriz Paglieri.
Fernández de Kirchner then held a press conference to set the Syria crisis and US preparations for a military strike on the Arab country as a leading example of what she considered a “crisis of the multilateral system.”
Argentina’s own legal, billionaire dispute with US-based vulture funds over the South American country’s defaulted bonds more than a decade ago were indeed brought up by the head of state also as a proof of such crisis that becomes evident, she affirmed, both in the economical and geopolitical world scenarios.
“Leaders must think whether the multilateral system is a way to resolve conflicts or if it is only useful when it is only convenient to oneself” as it happens with developed countries when issues don’t serve their interests, the President said and went to question world powers’ "protectionism."
Following the position of the European Union against what the bloc calls Argentina’s own protectionist policies, Ms. Kirchner assured “so called opening of developed economies is not such.” “Argentina is still waiting for the US to open beef trade with us,” she explained referring to phytosanitary of the WTO that Buenos Aires has been long targeting instead for “masked trade barriers.”
“There is no major protectionism than the one carried out by developed countries and let’s not talk about Europe,” she stressed and added protectionism is “beneficial for EU countries” as they become together to “defend their benefits at the expense of emerging nations.”
“Developed countries carry on and on about free trade but they then do the opposite. There are no bad and good boys here but people defending their interests,” Argentina’s leader insisted and called for “reasonable criteria” in global trade.