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CFK to New Yorker: US has closed its doors on us

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has accused the United States of placing barriers to trade with Argentina, in an interview held with the New Yorker magazine.

The head of state's official website published a video and transcript of part of the conversation held with the venerable US publication today, in a rare interview for CFK who tends to avoid one-on-one contact with the press. The commercial relationship with the North American nation figured heavily in the chat.

"First of all, in our country, the first investor is Spain, and the second investor is the United States. Here in Argentina there are at least 500 American companies, including the 100 most important American companies. During the ’90s, we had a trade surplus with the United States; nowadays, the United States has a trade surplus with us," the president explained when asked why Argentina had aligned closer with Russia and China than the US, refuting the assertion.

"Nowadays, global matters are not contingent on whether I like Obama, or Bush, or Xi Jinping, or if I like Putin better. If we are going to talk economics, I want to see the numbers. And the numbers say that the second investor is the United States, and the numbers tell me that I have a trade deficit with the United States, so there is a well-oiled commercial exchange between Argentina and the United States.

"What’s more, I believe that the United States has perhaps closed its doors to Argentina. For instance, we are about to win a dispute at the WTO because the United States does not allow the import of Argentine beef—the best beef in the world—using non-tariff or phytosanitary barriers and also prevents the import of lemons to defend its producers, and Argentina is the first exporter and producer of lemons in the world."

During the interview extract released Cristina covered a number of subjects that have figured in both her presidential mandates and that of late husband Néstor Kirchner, including human rights trials, the 2005 and 2010 debt restructurings and reindustrialisation policies. The president also talked about the effect of consumption in the world, stating that citizens had a right to access the goods they wished.

"Everybody wants to consume, but I always say that the Berlin Wall fell on both sides. I don’t believe the Berlin Wall fell because the United States was more powerful militarily, economically, financially, or scientifically. I believe the Berlin Wall fell because those who lived on the communist side wanted to live like the people on the other side," she asserted.

"Consuming, with freedom, deciding what to do with their lives and not letting the Government decide for them. That is the great triumph, which I don’t think is currently visible in our world problems."
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Tags:  CFK  interview  New Yorker  US  trade  





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