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LatinNews Daily - 16 August 2021

US reaches out to Argentina, Brazil

Argentina/Brazil: On 9 August US Assistant Secretary of State at the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Juan Gonzalez gave a press briefing in which he said that the US has a “willingness to work with Argentina” in helping the country reach a new deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Gonzalez stressed the US was keen to do so not only for Argentina’s sake, but to set a precedent and encourage other emerging economies that may seek support from the IMF in the future. The press briefing was held to discuss a recent trip to Brazil and Argentina by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who was accompanied by Gonzalez and other US government officials. According to a US Department of State press release, on 6 August Sullivan met Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández and members of his ministerial cabinet, as well as members of the national legislature. Topics discussed included “increasing strategic ties on bilateral and regional priorities”, including coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic recovery, “the regional climate summit, and shared economic growth and security”. In Brazil, which the US delegation visited on 5 August, Sullivan met President Jair Bolsonaro among other senior government officials. Topics discussed included “opportunities to strengthen the US-Brazil strategic partnership, enhance regional stability, advance climate objectives, collaborate on digital infrastructure, and help forge a path on …pandemic recovery”. One issue discussed in both countries was also Argentina and Brazil’s upcoming major investments in their digital infrastructure. A US embassy press release highlighted US concerns about 5G and Chinese firm Huawei’s “potential role in Brazil’s telecom infrastructure, as well as the telecom infrastructure with other countries around the world”.

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