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Javier Milei's Presidency: Impact on Brazil-Argentina Relations

Julieta Zelicovich

Universidad Nacional de Rosario's professor Julieta Zelicovich, from the Department of Political Science and International Relations, discusses the implications of Javier Milei's presidency on Brazil-Argentina relations.

What to expect for Brazil-Argentina relations under a Javier Milei administration?

Argentina and Brazil have a long-standing and complex relationship shaped by structural factors rather than individual actors. It’s the most important relationship in south America. However, it is important to note that over the last decade, both nations have adopted different economic paths that have introduced tensions in bilateral relations and somehow reduced their importance in relative terms. Javier Milei’s election raises an ideological distance between Argentina's and Brasil's presidents, making that scenario a little more complex to tackle. But it is crucial to consider that, on the one hand, the relationship is central to key stakeholders and will continue like that despite the presidents' different views; on the other hand, the relationship is in a declining stage, driven mostly by external factors. The political distance between Lula and Milei won’t change those two fact. It won’t create any resistance to them, either. Brazil-Argentina relations under this new administration would probably be very similar to previous years with Fernandez presidency in Argentina and Bolsonaro in Brazil.”

How feasible are the measures Milei is proposing to recover Argentina's economy?

Argentina is probably going to face a severe crisis, with both inflationary process and economic productivity decline in the next month-years. To move forward the reforms intended by the elected government, Milei will need to learn how to create political support and to negotiate with the rest of the political and social actors in the country. He doesn’t have much support in Congress, and would probably face much resistance from the worker’s sectors.”

How might Milei's election impact the EU-Mercosur Agreement?

The central question is not how Milei’s election might impact the agreement but how the EU will perceive this new presidency. Milei’s ideological platform supports free trade agreements. The leading cause for the stalemate in the negotiations is in Brussels' power (or the lack of it) in the EU.”

About the Author

Julieta Zelicovich

Julieta Zelicovich

Brazil Institute

The Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—works to foster understanding of Brazil’s complex reality and to support more consequential relations between Brazilian and US institutions in all sectors. The Brazil Institute plays this role by producing independent research and programs that bridge the gap between scholarship and policy, and by serving as a crossroads for leading policymakers, scholars and private sector representatives who are committed to addressing Brazil’s challenges and opportunities.  Read more