The US dollar and Argentine peso could exist side by side, says rival to presidential frontrunner Milei

The US dollar and Argentine peso could exist side by side, says rival to presidential frontrunner Milei
Nora Mazzini
  • Argentine presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich wants both the dollar and peso to be official currencies.
  • This represents a different take versus full dollarization, a policy advocated by frontrunner Javier Milei.

Frontrunner Javier Milei is no longer Argentina's only presidential candidate with dollarization plans, as opponent Patricia Bullrich has come up with her own version.

While Milei has gained popularity on plans to abandon the peso and replace it with the US greenback, Bullrich would see that both currencies become legal tender in the country.

"The peso and the dollar will coexist," Carlos Melconian, her chief economic advisor, said at the Bloomberg Economic Summit in Buenos Aires. "There will be a complementary exchange rate regime that will be step by step, and will take inflation into account."

Milei has promised to dollarize Argentina as a way to combat hyperinflation and economic instability. The peso's value has evaporated amid a 124% inflation rate, while interest rates stand at 118%.

In the face of this economic upheaval, Argentina's private sector has largely adopted the dollar unofficially, and the currency is used in everything from corporate salaries to Airbnb rentals.


However, critics have pointed out that cutting out the peso could spark a sudden recession, as Argentina currently faces a scarcity in greenback reserves.

According to adviser Melconian on Tuesday, Bullrich would look to slash government spending by 4% of gross domestic product, tackling another key factor in the peso's weakness.

"There is going to be very severe and prudent macroeconomic policy in Argentina," Melconian said, according to Bloomberg.

And while the peso would remain in circulation under Bullrich, she has previously called for the elimination of capital controls on the currency. Though meant to slow the peso's decline, they have spawned a byzantine system of dollar exchange rates.

Bullrich's pro-business coalition won 28% of the vote in August's primary, tailing Milei's 30% lead. The election is set for late October.