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Buy Argentine: the ruling party obtained an opinion despite the opposition’s allegations of overpricing

Between reproaches with the opposition and after a long debate, the Front of All of Deputies ruled with modifications – among them the exclusion of the PAMI – the new Law of Buy Argentine, which extends the percentages of preference for national suppliers in the purchases of the Condition. Without the guaranteed numbers to pass it in one session, there is still no vote date on the floor.

The Buy Argentine law was passed in 2018, during the government of Mauricio Macri. Now, at the initiative of the Ministry of Productive Development of Matías Kulfas, preferences in local purchases are raised from 15% to 20% for Argentine micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and from 8% to 15% for the others.

The ruling party won the majority opinion in the Industry and Budget commissions with the support of missionary ally Diego Sartori, of the United Provinces bloc.

“The project gives preference to national industry, compared to imported products. National work is defended,” celebrated the president of the Industry commission, Marcelo Casaretto (FdT).

Although during Macri’s administration the opposition had endorsed the benefits of this law, on this occasion Together for Change opposed the expansion of the percentages. He named the law “Buy Expensive”and denounced that it will enable surcharges in state acquisitions.

The Cordovan Ignacio José Garcia Aresca, who answers to Juan Schiaretti, did not accompany the official text either. From the Federal Interbloc they criticize that the initiative benefits large companies more than SMEs and they believe that the Trust Fund that Kulfas will be able to manage is too discretionary.

“Overpricing” vs “Anti-industry”

The JxC opposition denounced that these changes will generate overprices of more than a third and the ruling party branded them “anti-industry.”

“We do not find justification for expanding the margins. We already have a preference law. Does it not work? We asked for information and nobody answered us. But with these changes there may be differences of up to 33% over the market price. It’s too much“, pointed out the radical Alejandro Cacace.

“This law should be called: ‘Buy Expensive’, because it generates overprices to the detriment of the whole society. If the ruling party wants to benefit SMEs, it must lower the fiscal pressure, allow those who import goods and services to access the purchase of foreign currency and remove the traps on exports,” added Laura Machado, from PRO.

Quickly, they were crossed by the Albertista legislator, Victoria Tolosa Paz, who pointed out that the law was defended “both by the workers and by the business chambers.” “If for you this is ‘buy expensive’, then in 2018 they supported the buy expensive unanimously”he reproached them.

“What they say is a lie, because this margin of preference does not remove from the middle the responsibility of the officials of, in each tender, reporting the witness price, which is the upper limit in all cases, by the National Contracting Office (ONC) based on established market values,” he added.

The former governor of La Rioja, Sergio Casas, joined the criticism. “I don’t want to think that they want to take care of what is foreign over what is Argentine. If they accuse this project of fallacy, I could also dare to accuse them of trying to annihilate SMEs, which is what happened during the Cambiemos government, when almost disappeared,” he said.

In the same line, the official Eduardo Toniolli closed: “I understand that they make this effort so that they do not call them ‘anti-industry’, but it does not work out for them.”

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