U.S. approves $400M of financing for Argentina’s road network

People posing for photo at lookout point (© Gustavo Garello/AP Images)
U.S. officials, including Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump (center), with Argentine officials in Purmamarca, Argentina. (© Gustavo Garello/AP Images)

The United States unveiled $400 million in financing to upgrade and expand a major toll road in Argentina.

The road “is an important project, and we are glad to see it move forward,” said Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan who was part of a U.S. team visiting the region recently when the financing was announced.

The financing comes from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution. In the coming months, OPIC’s functions and those of USAID’s Development Credit Authority will be folded into a new entity, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.

The U.S. financing will be used to improve and expand Argentina’s 876-kilometer Corredor C toll road, which connects several of the country’s provinces to one another and with the Chilean border.

Eighty percent of the $3.9 billion in trade between the two countries passes along Corredor C. Chilean ports connect Argentinean exports to international markets. The renovations are slated to help reduce vehicle operating costs by as much as 92% and to cut travel times.

Acting OPIC head David Bohigian made the announcement September 5 during the official visit to the region. The visiting team was led by presidential adviser Ivanka Trump, promoting the White House’s W-GDP Initiative to empower women economically. Sullivan and USAID Administrator Mark Green also traveled with the team.

The Corredor C project falls under the U.S. government’s “Growth in the Americas” initiative, which seeks to kickstart energy and infrastructure investments in Latin America and the Caribbean and deepen trade between the U.S. and the region.

The winning bidder of the contract is Vial Andes 7 S.A.U. The project aligns with the Argentine government’s public-private partnership and infrastructure-investment goals.

“Safe highways and road networks that support commerce are critical to creating a healthier economy for the people of Argentina,” Bohigian said in Argentina. “OPIC financing will support the rehabilitation of this major route, increasing opportunities for trade while reducing accidents and fatalities.”