Buenos Aires Times

economy Frustration over imports, low consumer spending

Industry leader takes aim at gov’t over ‘bravado’

Production Minister Francisco Cabrera last week took aim at industry leaders, telling them to “stop crying and go out, invest and compete”.

Wednesday 7 March, 2018
Production Minister Francisco Cabrera and President Mauricio Macri.
Production Minister Francisco Cabrera and President Mauricio Macri. Foto:Télam

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Tensions between the national government and the country’s major industry bodies heightened this week with the Argentine Industrial Union (UIA)’s José Urtubey describing the government’s criticisms of the sector as “bravado”.

“I don’t like disqualifications or bravado”, he told Cooperative radio, confirming the UIA will “probably” request a meeting with the national government to reestablish dialogue.

On Tuesday, President Mauricio Macri said “some Argentine businessmen need a Moreno”, referring to Guillermo Moreno, the Commerce secretary of former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner who was known to take his hand-gun to meetings with business leaders.

Industry groups are frustrated about the increase in imports and a drop in consumer spending.

In January, Macri signed a presidential decree automating 314 import licences and creating a so-called Secretariat for Production Simplification.

Production Minister Francisco Cabrera last week took aim at industry leaders, telling them to “stop crying and go out, invest and compete”.

Urtubuey yesterday called for greater cooperation: “We need to work shoulder to shoulder to find common goals that allow us to overcome this lack of competition”, he said.

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