Brazil has been charged by Argentina of not keeping to agreed "self regulated" bilateral trade understandings originally destined as an umbrella for Argentine industry, and instead has resorted to customs barriers which are delaying or impeding exports.
"Brazilian authorities are not keeping to what was agreed," said Argentine Industry Secretary Eduardo Bianchi during an interview with the Buenos Aires press on Wednesday.
Beginning two weeks ago Brazil has imposed non automatic import licenses which are delaying Argentine exports, in some cases of perishable goods, a similar measure to that applied by Argentina to certain Brazilian intermediate goods.
"They are requesting more import licenses than those we agreed on and so according to their view we are infringing. But that is because they are not complying with the self regulation agreement, the self imposed limits on sales," added Bianchi.
"This is quite evident with furniture and footwear, and it's not the fault of the Argentine government but Brazilian responsibility," said Bianchi describing the current situation which has seen hundreds of Argentine trucks delayed at Brazilian customs along border crossings.
Bianchi mentioned car batteries, excluded by Argentina from the automatic licenses system and with an agreed quota of 850.000 units for the whole year, but "already 1.125.000 have arrived in Argentina."
In the opposite direction Bianchi said Argentina had agreed to a self imposed limit of 15.000 tons of powder milk between May and September, "but we have only been able to ship 10.400 tons to Brazil."
Bianchi said that all agreed limits for Brazilian furniture and foot wear in Argentina have been ignored: "Once you have passed that limit the product does not have access and problems begin. But it is Brazil's problem since they do not harmonize exports to what was voluntarily agreed at the time."
Brazilian exporters' complaints are "reasonable" but they must be addressed by their own government. However he admitted there could be some delays in delivering import licenses for certain Brazilian products, "but that is not the rule."
"Under no circumstances can such a reaction from Brazil, imposing delays and obstacles to Argentine produce, be explained," underlined Bianchi.
Asked about the Brazilian restrictions to trade from Argentina, Economy minister Amado Boudou said that "President Cristina Kirchner stood up and addressed the issue directly. Too much is at stake and linked to provincial economies."
More over since most are perishable goods "through Foreign Affairs and with Deborah Giorgi from the Secretary of Industry we immediately worked on the issue, and we are continuing discussions. Since Brazil is our main trade partner we will always have issues to discuss," said Boudou.
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