WASHINGTON: Argentina’s president-elect Javier Milei met key US officials Tuesday while his advisors held talks with an IMF team in Washington, as he seeks to boost support for his plans to aid the crisis-hit economy.
The two-day visit comes shortly before Milei’s inauguration, and as Buenos Aires aims to get the country’s $44 billion agreement with the International Monetary Fund back on track. The United States is the fund’s largest shareholder.
On Tuesday, Milei held talks with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, where they discussed the importance of building on strong ties.
This includes “on economic issues, and on shared priorities such as investing in technology and clean energy, advocating for human rights, and standing up for democracies around the world,” said a readout from the White House.
Milei also met with other officials from the National Security Council and the State Department.
With him were economic advisers Luis Caputo and Nicolas Posse, who held talks with an IMF team led by its First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath.
“They discussed the country’s complex challenges and plans for urgently strengthening stability and setting the basis for more sustainable growth,” said the fund in a statement.
“Both teams will remain closely engaged in the period ahead,” the IMF added.
A Treasury Department spokesperson confirmed that senior officials were to meet with Milei’s economic policy advisors on Tuesday to discuss his incoming administration’s economic policy priorities, but did not provide further details.
In a social media statement, Milei’s office said he “expressed his view on the international geopolitical agenda aligned with the West and his defense of the values of freedom.”
The statement added that Sullivan expressed Washington’s “willingness” to collaborate in the transition of Argentina’s incoming government, in the face of the country’s “challenging political, economic and social situation.”
Argentina’s annual rate of inflation is over 140 percent and 40 percent of the population lives in poverty.
Among Milei’s plans for reform have been proposals to privatize many state-run institutions.