Home » President of Argentina: US military should be in charge of the country’s largest waterway

President of Argentina: US military should be in charge of the country’s largest waterway

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President of Argentina: US military should be in charge of the country’s largest waterway

Buenos Aires. Argentina’s government wants to commission the US military with the expansion and future management of the country’s largest waterway.

The Paraguay/Paraná waterway is the connection to the Atlantic Ocean for Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, through which a large part of these countries’ exports overseas are handled.

In order to meet the requirements of a modern and efficient transport system, the over 3,000 kilometer long river must be repeatedly dredged and fortified. The ports also need to be kept state-of-the-art to adapt to growing traffic volumes and container loading.

Now Argentina’s President Javier Milei has ordered military officers from the US Army Corps of Engineers to do this Tasks perceive.

The US embassy says it is about the “resilience of maritime infrastructure”, while Argentine opposition representatives say it is about “selling out national interests and sovereignty”.

25 years ago, the five neighboring states agreed to coordinate on the preservation and expansion of the waterway. In practice, however, all states took care of the pending work in their territory more or less independently of each other. In Argentina, the General Port Authority took on this task. Until 2021, the 1,953 kilometers of the Argentine part of the waterway were maintained under concession by a consortium made up of the Belgian company Jan de Nul and the Argentine holding company Emepa SA.

Afterwards, a new tender was considered under the government of Alberto Fernández, but was not carried out. Two Belgian companies, including Jan de Nul, two Dutch, and the Shanghai Dredging Company from the People’s Republic China showed interest in the project.

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The waterway in Argentina called Paraná carries 75 percent of the country’s agricultural products, especially grain, soy, and vegetable oil.

China is Argentina’s largest trading partner after Brazil. The Shanghai Dredging Company has been in Latin America since 1980 in Colombia, Brazil and Suriname employed. In its own country, the company is responsible for maintaining the 2,800 navigable kilometers of the Yangtze.

The USA, meanwhile, has the parent company of Shanghai Dredging, the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), on its behalf Boycott list set. The reason given was CCCC activities in the South China Sea, where there are unresolved territorial issues between China and its neighboring countries. This decision made it more difficult for the Chinese consortium company to apply to operate the Paraná.

The US military Engineering Corps were able to agree on the maintenance of the waterway with Paraguay as early as 2023. Paraguay argued that the US force was also responsible for the maintenance of the Mississippi is responsible.

From the opposition MP Eduardo Toniolli from the province of Santa Fe, through which the Paraná flows criticism on the project. Argentina had raised concerns about the deployment of US military personnel in Paraguay last year because “agreement of Santa Cruz de la Sierra”, only military personnel from the signatory states can be involved in the operation of the waterway. Furthermore, Congress failed to request the visit and stay of foreign military personnel, as provided for in Law No. 25880.

Another point of criticism is that the agreement is not yet available in full.

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Former MP Guillermo Carmona goes even further in his criticism. “It is an agreement with a country that appears to want to expand its hemispheric influence in Latin America and involves a foreign military force. It clearly attacks national sovereignty in a strategic way from a geopolitical and economic perspective.”

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