27 February 2023

The Argentine government promised to permit rawhide exports, a measure in the current situation that puts the tanning, footwear and leathergoods industries that operate in the country at risk, reports CueroAmérica.



When protesting against this measure that will produce enormous damage s, the whole leather and manufacturing sectors recalled that in Argentina, they generate some 50,000 jobs -direct and indirect- and several billions of dollars of wealth.

The official announcement promised the abattoirs and meat packers that it would eliminate the regime that discourages the export of raw material ‘salted leather’, so that it can obtain greater profits by exporting directly. It was also reported that the ultimate goal of the agreement is that meat processing companies do not continue to increase meat prices, since these have a significant influence on inflation rates.

The industry that seeks to process most of the leather in the country has its roots in 1972 and allowed the sustained development of the leather value chain and its manufacturers, which allows the creation of work and wealth in Argentina.

Given the new measures announced, a group of business entities and trade unions from the manufacturing industries issued a harsh statement urging the authorities not only to avoid leaving the hides without processing, but to visualize the industries in the sector’s chain as important generators of wealth and work.

The businessmen and workers denounced that “the promised measure seeks to facilitate business for the current exporters of salted bovine hides. “A minority of these exporters are cattle slaughter establishments, but the rest are just commercial offices that are behind a ‘business of the moment’, marketing non-industrialized hides directly abroad.”

In areas of the industry it was also said that, in recent years, -given the current exchange situation of the country-, many of these exports were driven by the search for spurious profits through under-invoicing and the entry into the country of the difference in dollars through illegal means.

The document recalls that the government promised to facilitate the export of hides, so that meat packers do not continue to increase the price of meat. “But it is known that the relationship is questionable since leather only represents 1.7% of the price of an animal”, and it is practically a residue of the task of producing meat for food purposes.

The announced measure goes against the principle of “added value” by the national industry to a material generated in the country, and the export of rawhide “is an old claim of the meat-packing industry that seeks to undermine the Argentine economy, returning to colonial times.

The document also says that the arguments that measures like these will give Argentine consumers access to beef at a lower price, is simply a lie. It maintains that it is enough to review the progressive concessions granted by the various governments to the agro-export sector, to verify that it was never possible to lower the price of meat to consumers in this way.

In this sense, it was denounced that the social-economic cost of putting these measures into effect could lead to the disappearance of the tanning industry and its suppliers, which generate significant exports. Likewise, the destruction of an extended value chain of leather manufacturers such as footwear, leather goods, saddlery, and other leather manufacturers, which generate billions of dollars in exports and prevents large imports.

The document has the signature of the Chamber of the Argentine Tanning Industry (CICA) – Chamber of the Argentine Leathergoods Industry (CIMA), the Tannery Association of the Province of Buenos Aires (ACUBA), the Argentine Federation of the Leather Industry of Footwear and Allied Trades (FAICA), the Argentine Federation of Workers in the Leather and Allied Industry (FATICA), the Union of Workers of the Footwear Industry of the Argentine Republic (UTICRA), the Union of Leather Goods Workers (SOM) and unions of the industry across the country.

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