Blinken Seeks Stability and Critical Minerals in Argentina

At the end of the official visit in Argentina, US State Secretary Antony Blinken and Argentinian Foreign Minister Diana Mondino jointly hosted a press conference in Buenos Aires on 23 February 2024.

Right off the bat, Blinken highlighted that USA is still one of top trade and investment partners of Argentina. In 2023, bilateral trade volume reached nearly USD 18 billion with US exports to Argentina amounting to USD 11.4 billion while US imports was USD 6.4 billion. In terms of trade in services, the two countries exchanged services worth nearly USD 10 billion in 2022. On the investment front, the US ODI into Argentina reached USD 12.6 billion in 2022. On the other side, Argentinian FDI into US amounted to USD 2.1 billion in 2022.

Arriving from Brazil in Argentina on 24 February 2024, Secretary Blinken had meetings with Argentinian President Javier Milei and his counterpart Diana Mondino. Currently, the US is exploring investment into #Lithium, which is one of the #CriticalMinerals that is needed for batteries powering Electric Vehicles (#EV). Argentina holds one of world’s largest known reserves of #lithium.

Argentina President Milei Welcomes US State Secretary Blinken
Argentina President Milei Welcomes US State Secretary Blinken

“One of the most important to our shared future – in fact, one of the most important to the entire planet – is clean energy.  Argentina is poised to play a critical role in building supply chains for critical minerals that will drive the economy of the 21st century, particularly things like lithium.

US State Secretary Antony Blinken

Secretary Blinken remined that the International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) set up the Mineral Securities Partnership which aims to secure access to #CriticalMinerals around the world.

President Milei was elected while the country experienced economic difficulties. Its currency lost its value greatly, with over 50% devaluation as recently as in December 2023, and is even considering using the Dollar in place of the Pesos as its national currency. “This is a decision for Argentina to make,” pointed out Blinken. Then, he added that the US supported an agreement between Argentina and IMF in order to stabilize the Argentinian economy.