Last night, the newly-minted Argentine Ambassador to the US Fernando Oris de Roa hosted a welcoming reception with US Government officials. The Malbec flowed, as did tiny samplers of steak and empanadas. I guess our invite was lost in the mail.
Oris de Roa gave his first public remarks to these officials regarding his intention to deepen the currently optimistic relationship between the two countries. “I’m convinced that both governments will continue to mutually benefit from a mature, stable, and diverse relationship, based in dialogue and transparency,” he said.
Representatives from the State Department, think tanks, international organizations, and of the National Security Council (NSC) were joined by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Though these meet-cutes are common to get to know the officials in the diplomatic sphere, cabinet-level representatives do not normally make an appearance. His presence underscores a Trump administration priority in normalizing economic relations with Argentina.
Secretary Ross stated that bilateral relations are at a “new, historic peak” and hinted at a possible resolution going forward on the ongoing biodiesel fight. While admitting that the conflict is “very complicated from both sides,” he told Infobae that the “link between Argentina and the US is unbeatable” and he was trying to find a solution. He remained tight-lipped otherwise, but it signals optimism for a thorny debate in what they hope to otherwise be a rosy relationship.
Ross went on to laud President Mauricio Macri as a “marvelous leader” and affirmed the reforms Macri has been working on as “exactly what Argentina needs.” Both countries are in a position where their agendas benefit from improved relations, and with Tillerson’s remarks about Macri yesterday, a tone has been set from the US perspective.
Wine in hand, Ross joked that he had been invited by Ambassador Oris de Roa for a drink, so it seemed like everything was off to a good start. There is much still to be worked through, though flattery and votes of confidence in the other side helps ease dialogue. Who’s to say that the next step in diplomacy doesn’t start with Fernet?