LatinNews Daily - 26 July 2023

In brief: Argentina’s business sector criticises new economic measures

* Business associations in Argentina, including business lobby group Unión Industrial Argentina (UIA) and the Asociación Empresaria Argentina (AEA), the association that groups the leaders of Argentina’s largest firms, have criticised new economic measures implemented by Argentina’s economy ministry. The proposed measures include a new ‘agro dollar’ preferential exchange rate for regional farm exports, an extra 25% higher exchange rate applied to imports of services, and a 7.5% increase in the exchange rate used for imported goods, although certain items, such as medicine, fuel, and products linked to the basic food basket will be exempted from the increase. In a statement, the AEA said the government had “once again increased the tax burden” with measures that would impact the “competitiveness of exports and generate retroactive costs on imports that have already been scheduled”. The AEA stated that measures implied a “discretional creation of new taxes” without the involvement of the national congress. In excerpts from a UIA statement widely cited in the local press, the business lobby said that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be most impacted by the measures due to increased tax pressure, higher costs, and a loss of competitiveness of exports. Similarly to the AEA, the UIA took particular issue with the increased rates applied to imports, arguing this will apply to imports that have already been scheduled, creating disruptive retroactive costs. UIA also complained that there is a lack of clarity over exactly which imported goods will be exempted from the increased rate.  

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