Bolsonaro's Plan to Prioritize Chile As An Ally Has Argentinians Worried

Claim that Argentina, a historical ally and trade partner, will no longer be a priority is received with concern at the country

Sylvia Colombo Mariana Carneiro
Buenos Aires and Brasília

Argentina is worried about a possible withdrawal from Brazil under a Bolsonaro administration. "It's a break from the status quo, but one that possibly Argentina was already expecting," said economist Marcelo Elizondo, a specialist in Mercosul.

On Monday (29th), representative Ony Lorenzoni (DEM-RS), who will likely be Bolsonaro's Chief of Staff, said that Chile would be the president-elect first international destination, breaking with a Brazilian foreign policy tradition in which Argentina had that privilege, no matter the political leanings of any given administration.

A man walks past billboards that read "No more lies - Goodbye, (Argentine President Mauricio) Macri" in Buenos Aires' financial district, Argentina - REUTERS

Not only that, but Paulo Guedes, the future Minister of Finance, said on Sunday that neither Argentina nor Mercosul would be priorities.

"The idea of Argentina as a secondary player in the Brazilian economy is a shocking one, and it's causing some unease there, but this is the situation at the moment. We need to give it some time," says Elizondo. "Brazil is still Argentina's main trade partner, and Argentina ranks third in Brazilian foreign trade."

However, both countries are on the same page when it comes to making Mercosul, the trading block they belong along with Uruguay and Paraguay - Venezuela, also a partner, is suspended for now.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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