Argentina Liaison Table group to protest fuel shortages

Argentina’s Liaison Table group will protest fuel shortages today by ceasing agricultural exports for 24 hours. The Liaison Table, a

Argentina fuel shortages

Argentina agricultural group Liaison Table will halt exports today to protest fuel shortages – Photo: Reuters/Marcos Brindicci

Argentina’s Liaison Table group will protest fuel shortages today by ceasing agricultural exports for 24 hours.

The Liaison Table, a group of Argentinian agricultural producers, organized today’s strike in response to major shortages in diesel and regional variations in diesel prices. Ongoing restrictions on the use of US dollars by importers—which makes it more difficult to import foreign materials needed for agricultural production—are also at issue. In Argentina’s agriculture-heavy northern provinces, diesel prices are double those in the capital. These price differentials have sparked major protests from trucking groups.

These protests have added to Argentina’s ongoing political and economic crisis. With inflation at 60% and the government bound by the terms of an IMF loan to reduce energy subsidies, Argentinians are increasingly frustrated with President Alberto Fernandez’s center-left Peronist government.

The Liaison Table’s protest will demonstrate the power of Argentina’s agricultural producers. It is unlikely, however, that it will affect government policy. The restrictions on US dollar use by private importers are a stop-gap measure to allow the government to utilize Argentina’s dollar reserves to purchase foreign fuel. Ending dollar restrictions would make fuel shortages—and, consequently, domestic unrest—significantly worse.

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