BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s new president, Mauricio Macri, fulfilled one of his campaign promises on Monday with the announcement of a sweeping reduction in taxes on agricultural exports.
“Without the countryside, the country does not move forward,” Macri said at an event with farmers and ranchers in Pergamino, the hub of an important agriculture region in Buenos Aires province.
“As soon as I land in the capital, I will sign the decree,” the conservative head of state said amid applause and chants of “Yes, we can.”
Agro-Industry Minister Ricardo Buryaile said that taxes on exports of soy will drop from 35 percent to 30 percent, while the 15 percent levies on products such as wheat, corn, sorghum, sunflower and beef will be entirely eliminated.
The new administration, which took office last Thursday, is counting on a large increase in output to make up for the loss of revenue.
“If there are more profits, one must cheerfully pay more taxes,” Macri said adding his administration “will be relentless enforcing the law on those who do not abide by the law,” in a reference to tax evasion.
The president expressed confidence that Argentina can double its production of food and pledged to “put in place the best infrastructure plan in the history” of the country to support growth in the agro-industrial sector.
Argentina’s most recent harvest came in at a record 116 million tons, including 61 million tons of soy, according to figures compiled by the firm IES Consultores.