02 May 2007

Latin American Companies Make Big U.S. Gains

File this one under irony:

Latin American Companies Make Big U.S. Gains - New York Times

“As Latin America lowered its own barriers to trade and investment, its firms began to look at the world in a very different way,” said Robert Pastor, vice president for international affairs at American University in Washington and a former adviser on Latin America to President Jimmy Carter. “Now Latin America is not just a destination, but an originator of capital and investment.”

Samba is not exactly a hit here in Wilton [Iowa], but a Brazilian-owned steel company, Gerdau Ameristeel, has become one of the two biggest employers in town, importing a new management style and fresh capital to modernize and expand an old mill and temper a tough American labor union.

Since arriving in the United States in 1999, Gerdau has swiftly acquired an empire of 17 mills across 11 states, to become the nation’s fourth-largest steel producer.

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