WASHINGTON--(American Task Force Argentina (ATFA), a broad coalition of 39 taxpayer, investor, educator, Latino and agriculture organizations, announced today that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has joined its ranks as a new member. As the nation's largest nonpartisan, individual membership organization of more than 2,000 state legislators and over 200 companies and public policy associations, ALEC's work with ATFA will help broaden the pressures on the Argentine government to honor its legal and financial commitments to stakeholders across the United States.)--
“ALEC will help ensure that the Argentine government feels the pressure from American lawmakers in all 50 states. This partnership with ALEC will be a tremendous asset in ATFA's efforts to achieve a fair resolution, and we look forward to working together in the year ahead.”
"By joining ATFA, the distinguished American Legislative Exchange Council has asserted that Argentina's behavior to US investors and taxpayers is irresponsible and will not be tolerated. It is unacceptable that a leading South American economy with $54 billion in foreign reserves and the benefits of preferred trade status from the United States, can refuse to honor its obligations to Americans year after year," said ATFA co-chair, Dr. Robert Shapiro. "ALEC will help ensure that the Argentine government feels the pressure from American lawmakers in all 50 states. This partnership with ALEC will be a tremendous asset in ATFA's efforts to achieve a fair resolution, and we look forward to working together in the year ahead."
ALEC recently passed a resolution calling for Argentina's withdrawal or suspension from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade program, citing Argentina's unwillingness to abide by the responsibilities of a GSP beneficiary. ALEC also sent letters to its alumni members now serving in Congress and to the U.S. Trade Representative calling for a formal reevaluation of Argentina's future status in the GSP program, which provides $20 million per-year in tariff relief to Argentine exporters.
"Increasingly, global policy trends affect state policy-making. State budgets are squeezed and as a consequence state international trade budgets are cut, reducing the available assistance for small businesses to expand in the global market place. Argentina's refusal to recognize its outstanding debts, its persistence in ignoring US and international law, and its resistance to providing adequate access to its market for US exporters, all harm a fragile US economy. Taxpayers are squeezed enough already; ALEC is committed to bringing about a resolution for the sake of our members' constituents," said Karla Jones, ALEC International Relations Task Force Director. "We look forward to working with ATFA to pursue a legislative remedy to Argentina's outstanding debts and a reevaluation of Argentina's GSP status - policy goals that will serve ALEC members and their constituents well."
Click here to read ALEC's full resolution on the reevaluation of Argentina's GSP benefits.
Made up of an alliance of diverse organizations, ATFA’s leadership includes Executive Director Robert Raben, a former Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, and is co-chaired by The Honorable Robert J. Shapiro, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs in the Clinton Administration, and Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, Ambassador at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York from 1997 to 2001.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the nation's largest nonpartisan, individual membership organization of state legislators. For more information, visit www.alec.org.