More News from the Argentine Economy

For those who did not live here, the Argentine economic saga is as gripping as the run-up to the Super Bowl and World Cup combined, with much more happening on a daily basis. Another edge case milestone occurred recently (see article below).

The latest line crossed is foreign reserves slipping below the US$30B limit and the new restrictions on Amazon shopping. Yes, Amazon. “Believe it or not, in the last trimester alone Argentines spent close to US$1.5 billion in sites like Aliexpress, Amazon, Ebay and other international online marketplaces.” [The Bubble –]

In order to stem the outflow of foreign currency, Argentinians are permitted to make only two purchases per year tax-free on foreign online sites, totalling US$25. Amounts over $25 will be taxed at 50% of the total purchase price. As of today, all orders from online sites will be sent to a local Customs Office rather than to one’s home. To retrieve a package, the buyer must sign for it in person and pay any required tax on the spot. The form requires a “fiscal key”, a password issued by the government only to citizens and residents.

The Chief of Cabinet, Jorge Capitanich, defended the policy yesterday as defending the interests of all Argentines.

The cabinet chief also criticised certain economists who had stated that Argentine was lacking a coherent fiscal model, labelling the unnamed academics “eternal failures, employees or spokesmen for dominant groups,” whose opinions “border on the ridiculous and irresponsible.” ‘ [Buenos Aires Herald]