Argentina: Background and U.S. Relations [September 6, 2016]   [open pdf - 850KB]

"Argentina, a South American country with a population of almost 43 million, has had a vibrant democratic tradition since its military relinquished power in 1983. Current President Mauricio Macri--the leader of the center-right Republican Proposal (PRO) and the candidate of the Let's Change coalition representing center-right and center-left parties--won the 2015 presidential race and was inaugurated on December 10, 2015. He succeeded two-term President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, from the center-left faction of the Peronist party known as the Front for Victory (FPV), who was first elected in 2007 (succeeding her husband, Néstor Kirchner, who served one term). In a close race, Macri defeated the FPV's Daniel Scioli. Macri's election ends the 12-year run of so-called Kirchnerismo that helped Argentina emerge from a severe economic crisis in 2001-2002 but also was characterized by protectionist and unorthodox economic policies and at times difficult relations with the United States. [...] Reaching a settlement with the private creditors that did not participate in the exchanges--the 'holdouts'--was a more protracted process. Macri made it a priority to resolve the 15-year standoff with private creditors, and, in February 2016, the Argentine government reached an agreement with the major remaining holdouts. In April 2016, the government successfully issued $16.5 billion in new government bonds and paid $9.3 billion to holdout creditors, effectively resolving the default."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43816
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