Tax hike pits farmers against Argentina

Argentina’s main farming groups embarked on a four-day strike on Monday to protest a tax hike on soy exports that they argued would hurt competitiveness and cripple investment in the sector.

The Argentine government has dismissed the farmers’ claims, with Agriculture Minister Luis Basterra saying that the tax hike would only affect the largest farming groups, comprising about a quarter of the country’s soy farmers.

The increase of export levies on soy products from 30 per cent to 33 per cent is part of President Alberto Fernandez’ plan to restructure the country’s unsustainable debt levels.

Latin America’s third-largest economy is highly dependant on its soy exports.

In 2019, the country exported soy products worth 16.9 billion dollars, which represents about a quarter of Argentina’s total exports.