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Foreign influence in Argentina does not consist solely of Nazi agents who make bombs at secret arsenals on the pampas; the British and American influence in the land of the tango is strong indeed. Many people are not aware of the fact that the British own most of the major railways, and they are the largest single customer of the American-owned meat packing corporations in the Argentine. The recently announced loan of $100,000,000 to the Argentine is a significant result of both the New Deal's "Good Neighbor" policy and the policy of "aid to Britain short of war."
Since the war in Europe broke out in the fall of 1939 the British-Argentine economic relationship has been strained. The British buy a considerable amount of their beef from the Argentine packing houses which bear the familiar names of Swift, Armour, and Wilson. The Argentine has bought in the past finished heavy goods from the British with their English pounds. Since the war, however, these pounds have been blocked in London by the British control of foreign exchange; they are not now transferable into American dollars as they were in the past. This situation has put the Argentines in a difficult position. They can not get delivery on the goods ordered from England, and they can not exchange their favorable pound balances into Dillard so that they may buy American goods, because the British need their dollar exchange for war purchases.
Rather than force the British into depleting their dollar resources in America, Washington has found a solution by loaning money through the Export -Import Bank to the Argentine. Actually the loan does three things. It gives the Argentine credits in the United States with which to buy their vital food necessities. Lastly, it is another step to prevent the South American countries from being forced into the Argentine is a shrewd move by Washington in the interests of Hemisphere Defense and financial aid to Britain.
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