Bipartisan Senate Support for Obama Administration Policy on Argentine Debt Repayment
WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following the Obama Administration's announcement that it would oppose new loans to Argentina, American Task Force Argentina (ATFA) today applauded Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) for urging the U.S. Treasury to "formally adopt the policy of withholding approval of a Paris Club deal for Argentina until Argentina has satisfied all awards under bilateral investment treaties and outstanding U.S. court judgments."
"As the Argentine government negotiates with its Paris Club creditors, President Kirchner can't ignore outstanding court judgments against Argentina and the country's obligations under bilateral investment treaties," said Robert Raben, executive director of American Task Force Argentina. "The country needs to pay its outstanding debts to private creditors as well as public creditors. ATFA deeply appreciates the message Senators of both parties are sending to President Kirchner urging her to settle the $3.5 billion owed to U.S. bondholders."
The letter argues that Argentina must immediately repay its long overdue debts and encourages Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to oppose any Paris Club restructuring for Argentina until the country has satisfied all final awards with the World Bank's arbitral tribunal, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). As of January 2011, Argentina accounts for 27 (or 84%) of the 32 pending ICSID cases, and 22 (or 44 %) of the 49 concluded ICSID cases against G-20 countries.
"Argentina's consistent refusal to honor ICSID judgments has been tolerated for too long," said Raben. "The country's practice of requesting annulments and attempting to disqualify or challenge members of the tribunal has long frustrated investor efforts to recoup their losses. The Senate is saying it's no longer acceptable for Argentina to deliberately shirk its responsibilities."
The letter follows the Treasury Department's September announcement that the Obama administration will continue to oppose loans to Argentina in the mutli-development banks and engage other government donors to vote against loans to Argentina. Senator Rubio filed an amendment as part of H.R. 2354, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012, which would have required the Treasury Secretary "to direct the United States Executive Directors of the international financial institutions to oppose loans by those institutions to the Government of Argentina until that Government makes substantial progress toward repaying its debts."
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