Administration Announces Opposition to All Loans to Argentina until it Settles Outstanding Debts
WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During today's Financial Service Committee International Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee hearing, "The Impact of the World Bank and Multi-Lateral Development Banks on National Security," Marisa Lago, Assistant Secretary of Treasury for International Markets and Development, announced that the Administration will oppose all loans from multilateral development banks to Argentina moving forward. Since defaulting on its debt a decade ago, Argentina has flouted its financial obligations to U.S. and international bondholders, and ignored both U.S. court judgments and rulings of the World Bank's arbitral body, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
"The U.S. government has now sent a signal that it will no longer tolerate Argentina's misconduct by opposing the use of U.S. funds to support Argentina through multilateral development banks. As one of the largest contributors to these institutions, the United States cannot continue to allow its money to be used to support Argentina, when the Argentine government owes $3.5 billion to U.S. citizens," said Robert Raben, executive director of American Task Force Argentina. "Countries that flout court judgments – in the U.S. and international tribunals like ICSID – cannot continue to receive funds from multilateral development banks."
The World Bank's loans to Argentina alone are currently valued at over $5.8 billion, with another $1.6 billion under consideration. As recently as April 28—long after Members of Congress raised concerns on this issue—the World Bank approved a new loan of $400 million to Argentina.
"Argentina must now take steps to settle its outstanding debts with U.S. and international lenders," said Raben. "We encourage the Argentine government to repay its outstanding debts once and for all so that it can return to international capital markets."
Made up of an alliance of diverse organizations, ATFA's leadership includes Executive Director Robert Raben, a former Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, and is 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