Announcement Upholds Rule of Law; Encourages Argentina to Repay its Debts
WASHINGTON, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Task Force Argentina (ATFA) today commends President Obama for his decision to suspend Argentina's benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. In response to the announcement, ATFA sent a letter to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, thanking him for his efforts to correct Argentina's course and encourage the Argentine government to adopt policies that return the country to the international mainstream.
"For years, Argentina has enjoyed the benefits of GSP status while ignoring its responsibilities as a GSP beneficiary. Membership in the GSP program comes with very clearly defined obligations –chief among them being respect for the rule of law – and, for too long, Argentina has refused to abide by these criteria," said ATFA Executive Director Robert Raben. "It is encouraging to see the Administration take a step forward to show Argentina that its behavior is no longer acceptable."
In a statement released by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Kirk cited noncompliance with the statutory GSP eligibility criteria set by Congress as the primary reason for suspension of Argentina's GSP eligibility. Specifically, Argentina has failed to pay two longstanding arbitral awards to U.S. companies. In his statement, Kirk urged the Government of Argentina to pay the awards.
"Argentina continues to close off its borders to imports by imposing restrictions that will make it harder, if not impossible, for U.S. companies to import goods into the country," said Raben. "Now is the perfect time for the U.S. government to send a signal to Argentina that it must be a positive trade partner in order to receive benefits in return."
USTR's suspension of Argentina's GSP benefits will become effective 60 days after the publication of the presidential proclamation in the Federal Register. This decision follows an interagency U.S. Government review of two separate petitions submitted by U.S. companies.
Click here to view ATFA's letter Ambassador Kirk.
ATFA – an alliance of diverse organizations advocating a fair and final resolution to Argentina's financial and legal obligations to U.S. citizens – is led by Executive Director Robert Raben, a former Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, and co-chaired by The Honorable Robert J. Shapiro, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs in the Clinton Administration, and Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, Ambassador at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York from 1997 to 2001.
SOURCE American Task Force Argentina