The PJ Tatler

Lugar: Boot Argentina Out of the G-20

The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called for Argentina to be suspended from the G-20 for economic activities ranging from expropriating the property of foreign investors to evading more than 100 court judgments ordering it to fulfill obligations to U.S. creditors.

“As long as this ‘outlaw behavior’ continues, Argentina does not deserve membership in the G-20,” said Sen. Richar Lugar (R-Ind.), who introduced a resolution Friday finding that the South American country “has failed to meet the responsibilities inherent to membership in the G-20.”

The sense of Congress “calls upon the President and the Secretary of the Treasury to work with the governments of the G20 members to condition any reinstatement of Argentina’s membership in the G20 on its demonstrated compliance with its international commitments and obligations.”

“Unlike countries facing genuine challenges, Argentina has a productive economy and over $45 billion in reserves. It could easily live by the rules and pay its bills—but the current government chooses otherwise,” Lugar said. “The US government must take a firm stand against Argentina’s serial evasion of its obligations, and refusal to follow international rules and standards.”

Lugar also noted Argentina’s refusal to submit to an International Monetary Fund review in violation of Article IV of the IMF Charter (the only G-20 nation to do so), and failure to comply with 47 of 49 recommendations to combat terrorist financing and money laundering.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has become increasingly Chavez-esqe, note observers, including seizing YPF SA from the Spanish energy company Repsol YPF SA.

The next G-20 summit is June 18-19 in Los Cabos, Mexico.