Top US official Pyle visits Argentina, discusses economy and private investment

By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. official from the National Security Council met senior members of the administration of Argentine President Javier Milei on Wednesday and discussed plans for the South American nation’s economy and U.S. investment in it, the White House said.

“Deputy National Security Advisor Mike Pyle discussed President Milei’s plans for Argentina’s economy, underscoring the importance of laying the foundation for economic growth,” the White House said in a statement.

Pyle visited Buenos Aires and met Chief of Cabinet Nicolas Posse, Economy Minister Luis Caputo, and Central Bank President Santiago Bausili, according to the White House.

“They also discussed areas where the United States and Argentina can strengthen their cooperation, including on advancing the clean energy transition and spurring private sector investment in the country,” the White House said.

Argentina is a major exporter of grains, the fourth largest producer of electric battery metal lithium, and has huge shale oil and gas reserves in its Vaca Muerta formation. It also has a wobbling $44 billion program with the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) and crippling annual inflation running at 160%.

Pyle’s trip was part of series of visits by U.S. officials to show support to the libertarian president who took office on Sunday and faces a huge challenge to defuse the country’s worst economic crisis in decades.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s top international official, Jay Shambaugh, was also headed to Buenos Aires this week to meet with lithium firms, sources told Reuters on Tuesday, adding Treasury official Michael Kaplan was expected to travel to Argentina as well.

Last month, Milei met with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan in Washington. U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm led a delegation to Buenos Aires for his inauguration last Sunday.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Sandra Maler)