Thursday, November 29, 2012
By Robert J. Shapiro
Bilateral relations between the United States and Argentina just became a good deal more complicated as legislation that would sanction Argentina for its scofflaw treatment of U.S. investors receives committee markup.
Although some have claimed that Buenos Aires welcomed President Barack Obama’s re-election, the reality is that the president’s second term will mark the continuation of his no-nonsense approach toward Latin America’s fourth largest economy. Now, with Thursday’s markup of legislation that would further penalize Argentina for its bad acts, all three branches of the U.S. government are working to rein in that country’s bad behavior.
For its part, the executive branch has, since 2011, carried out a policy of opposing new loans to Argentina by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank; more recently, the administration revoked Argentina’s preferential trade status.
The judicial branch, through a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, recently upheld a District Court ruling in New York that Argentina must honor the contractual terms of its defaulted bonds and repay U.S. bondholders. This decision came in the wake of some 114 judgments by U.S. courts directing Argentina to pay these debts, all of which Argentina has chosen to ignore.
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