If generous doses of pragmatism on the part of the future government were observed in Buenos Aires in recent days, this Tuesday it was Washington DC’s turn: the White House opened its doors to Javier Milei, president-elect of Argentina, leaving aside the main differences to focus on commonalities.

“It was an excellent meeting. We are very satisfied and very happy with what happened at the meeting,” said Milei after leaving the mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue. “We talked about the Argentine situation and the challenges we have in this government and what our position is at the international level,” she added.

The very bad situation of the Argentine economy was addressed at the meeting: “We have precisely raised all those issues. We have talked about the economic and social situation of Argentina at this time and we have also talked about what will be the new international framework of the “Argentina among nations that respect freedom.” Read, zero tolerance with regimes like those of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, an issue that matters a lot in Joe Biden’s administration.

It was the most important meeting of the day. Biden was not in the White House, visiting another state, but the imminent Argentine president was received by two of the men who most influence foreign policy: the head of the National Security Council, Jake Sullivan, and the man in charge of Latin America in that organization, Juan Sebastián González.

Beyond Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, Sullivan and González are the men Biden listens to when making decisions in Latin America. In recent years both, but especially González, had established a very fluid relationship with Sergio Massa, the defeated Peronist candidate in the recent elections. Given the new panorama in Argentina, the challenge of understanding with a Milei who openly displays his admiration for Donald Trump.

The differences are enormous in the economy and climate change, two of the obsessions of the Biden government, along with the strengthening of democratic institutions and human rights, which are not necessarily the priorities of the Argentine president-elect. But the White House made the effort with other leaders in the past and will do so with Milei to overcome differences and find “areas of common priorities.”

“We want to continue looking for ways to cooperate with Argentina,” the Director of Communications of the National Security Council, John Kirby, had said on Monday in the White House press room. “We look forward to hearing the president-elect’s ideas and where he wants to go with his policies and making sure we keep the channel of communication open.”

In addition to the president-elect, the meeting at the White House was attended by Luis Caputo, his presumed Minister of Economy, and Nicolás Posse, his designated head of the Cabinet of Ministers. Milei was also accompanied by his sister Karina, his advisor Santiago Caputo and the presumed next ambassador to the United States, Gerardo Werthein.

Milei surprised by not attending the meetings scheduled for this Tuesday with the Treasury Department and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She sent Luis Caputo and Posse, two of her most trusted men. The president-elect made it known that he did not have much else to talk about after the one-hour video conference that he held last week with the managing director of the organization, the Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva.

Concern about Milei’s absence must have been minimal at the IMF: for the first time in the historically stormy relations between the organization and Argentina, a tenant of the Casa Rosada announces that its economic program and its cuts will be harsher than what he expected. they ask from Washington.

“There is no money,” Milei has been repeating in recent days. “The size of the crisis we are going to have is going to be Homeric,” adds the ultraliberal.

Milei, who will be back in Buenos Aires this Wednesday, surprised on Monday with his meeting with former President Bill Clinton and former Senator Christopher Dodd, two “blacklegs” of the Democratic Party, which the new Argentine president always considered ” socialist” and contrary to the good management of the economy. Dodd, with decades of foreign policy experience, is Biden’s special envoy for Latin America.

The meeting with Clinton, president between 1993 and 2001, has the mark of Werthein, a powerful businessman with a direct relationship with the former US president, whom he sat down for dinner with Massa two years ago during a Peronist tour of the United States.

“In the United States there is great work, great collaboration to help Argentina so that it can move forward. I was impressed by the quality with which Milei was able to explain each of the questions that were asked of her. She has a very clear vision of what what needs to be done,” Werthein said in statements to the LN news channel.

Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and former president of the Argentine Olympic Committee (COA), Werthein is one of the most powerful businessmen in the country, with investments in multiple areas, also in the media. His arrival at the mansion that serves as the headquarters of the Argentine embassy in Dupont, the diplomatic neighborhood of Washington, predicts a strong boost to what Diana Mondino, the next chancellor, wants to achieve: a diplomatic corps that promotes business for the country and helps to increase exports.