The IMF is holding ongoing technical talks with Argentina on how to best support that country’s economy, spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters Thursday (September 6) in Washington.
A delegation led by the IMF’s Roberto Cardarelli has been in Buenos Aires in talks on how to implement an IMF support package to help shore up the Argentine economy and restore investor confidence.
“Important progress is being made towards strengthening Argentina’s economic policy plans – supported by the IMF standby arrangement which as you know was previously announced for in the amount of $50 billion dollars (usd).
The IMF does not speak about details of negotiations while teams are actively speaking with authorities, but Rice outlined the desire to get a deal in place to pub in front of the IMF Board.
“We are working very hard as you know to conclude these staff level talks in short order. And as Christine Lagarde has stated we share a common objective and that is to reach a rapid conclusion so as to be able to present the proposal to our Board as soon as possible.”
Rice sought to reassure that the IMF and Argentina are in a partnership and praised Argentine commitments that social protections will remain in place to ensure there should not be a repeat of the civil unrest that hit the country in the wake of the 2002 economic downturn there.
Rice added that IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Argentine President Mauricio Macri will both be in New York next week for the UN General Assembly and may hold a meeting or be at events together, but nothing is scheduled currently.
The IMF hopes that the US and China will be able to solve their trade dispute , as there will be economic hits to both if there is further escalation Rice said.
“The imposition of additional tarrifs by the United States on Chinese imports could come at a significant economic cost. We are in the process of assessing that,” said Rice.
“The impact obviously depends in terms of China, how much China’s domestic policies would be adjusted to dampen the negative growth effects and the impact of the trade dispute on global confidence and financial conditions.
“In terms of the US we would expect its growth would also be effected. We don’t have any numbers for you today but again we will be looking at that and offering more in time for the WEO (World Economic Outlook report), “ Rice said, pointing to the IMF’s global growth survey set for release October 9th.
“And of course, should the escalation go further as you suggested the economic costs for both countries and around the world will quickly add up. Christine Lagarde has said before and I will repeat it here that there are no winners in a global trade war.”
And Rice answered questions about whether the IMF and World Bank should forge ahead with their plans to hold their Annual Meetings in Bali next month considering the recent deadly earthquakes and volcanic activity in the area.
“With the Indonesian authorities we continue to monitor developments relative to all participants safety attending the meetings in Bali in October. We are most reassured by the efforts that the Indonesian authorities are taking,” Rice added.
The Annual Meetings are expected to draw over 13,000 people are expected to attend the Annual Meetings this year. This number includes the governors themselves and their alternates, as well as members of their delegations, observers from other intergovernmental organizations such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, and representatives from financial institutions and bodies, such as the Financial Stability Board, and various visitors, journalists, and representatives of civil society organizations.
“We look forward to a very successful Annual Meeting in Indonesia working closely with our Indonesian partners. We think the arrangements being made are excellent.”