Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 7/22/2019
Argentina is the third largest economy in Latin America, with a population of approximately 44 million spread among 23 provinces and the City of Buenos Aires.  Approximately 92% of the Argentine population is concentrated in urban areas, with 38% living in Buenos Aires (Capital and Province), and another 15% in the cities of Córdoba, Rosario, and Mendoza combined.  The country boasts a talented and educated workforce, but its social fabric has suffered from frequent political and economic turbulence over the last 70 years.  The election of President Mauricio Macri in November 2015 ended 12 years of populist rule by Peronist Presidents Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, whose policies weakened U.S.-Argentina relations and discouraged U.S. investment. 

In 2017, the United States exported $17.8 billion in goods and services to Argentina, and imported $7.1 billion, resulting in a bilateral trade surplus of over $10 billion.  Around 90 percent of U.S. exports to Argentina are used in local industry and agriculture including refined oil, airplanes and aircrafts, computers, industrial and agricultural chemicals, agricultural and transportation equipment, machine tools, and parts for oil field rigs.  Primary Argentine exports to the United States are crude oil, aluminum, wine, fruit juices, and intermediate goods, such as seamless pipes, tubes, and other iron-based products.

There are more than 300 U.S. companies present in Argentina employing more than 155,000 workers.  There are also significant opportunities for more U.S. companies in sectors such as infrastructure, energy, health, agriculture, information technology, and mining.  The United States is the single largest source of foreign investment in Argentina with approximately $13.7 billion (stock) worth of investment as of 2016.  U.S. companies are widely respected in Argentina for their good business practices, transparency, corporate social responsibility activities, high quality, and good customer service.
Top five reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to Argentina:
  1. Argentina is a resource-rich country with enormous potential for further development.  It has the second largest shale gas reserves and fourth largest shale oil reserves in the world, as well as abundant solar and wind resources.  U.S. know-how, technology and equipment are needed to develop sectors such as energy and agriculture.
  2. The country is digitally capable, with high internet and smart phone dissemination.
  3. Income distribution has a smaller gap than in most Latin American countries; Argentina has a relatively large middle class with significant appetite for U.S. consumer products.
  4. The current pro-business government under President Mauricio Macri is reforming the economy, attacking corruption, investing in infrastructure and reopening the country to global commerce; according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Argentina received 11.5 billion dollars of foreign direct investment during 2017.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Argentina Trade Development and Promotion