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Argentina’s Milei US-bound to meet tech bosses

Argentina's President Javier Milei is seen in Cordoba, Argentina on May 25, 2024
Argentina's President Javier Milei is seen in Cordoba, Argentina on May 25, 2024 - Copyright AFP Diego LIMA
Argentina's President Javier Milei is seen in Cordoba, Argentina on May 25, 2024 - Copyright AFP Diego LIMA

Argentine President Javier Milei heads for the United States Monday for the fourth time since taking office in December, meeting tech giants as he seeks to “reposition” his economically troubled country, the government said.

Accompanied by his economy minister, Milei is set to meet representatives of OpenAI, Apple and Google this week, as well as Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, presidential spokesman Manuel Adorni told reporters.

The ultra-liberal president will meet “the owners of four of the top 10 companies by market capitalization in the world in this bid to reposition Argentina globally,” Adorni told reporters.

It is Milei’s seventh trip overall since December, and comes in a week the Senate will be debating his budget-slashing and liberalizing economic reform package.

Milei’s last visit abroad, to Spain, unleashed a major diplomatic spat last week after he called the prime minister’s wife “corrupt” at a gathering of far-right leaders in Madrid.

On his way home after his trip to Silicon Valley and Stanford University, the self-declared “anarcho-capitalist” president will attend the swearing-in Friday of El Salvador’s gang-busting leader Nayib Bukele, reelected with a large majority in February.

Milei will travel again next month to Madrid to receive an award from a liberal think tank, before attending a G7 meeting in Italy and a peace summit convened by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Switzerland.

On his last three visits to the United States, Milei twice met tycoon Elon Musk, received a decoration from a Jewish orthodox community and sat down with former president Donald Trump. 

Milei has slashed public spending, cut the cabinet in half, done away with tens of thousands of government jobs, suspended new public works contracts and ripped away fuel and transport subsidies since taking office.

While inflation has been slowing, it is still at nearly 290 percent year-on-year, while manufacturing output has plummeted.

AFP
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