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Economics

Companies Flee Argentina, and Coronavirus Is Just One Reason

Capital controls and confrontational unions trigger an exodus.

Employees of Latam Airlines stage a protest an an airport in Buenos Aires on July 16.

Employees of Latam Airlines stage a protest an an airport in Buenos Aires on July 16.

Photographer: Roncoroni/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
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Argentina faces a mounting exodus of multinationals that have concluded that doing business in Latin America’s third-largest economy is just too complicated and unprofitable, even disregarding the coronavirus pandemic.

Powerful labor unions, volatile politics, price and currency controls, and other forms of state interventionism have long been features of doing business in the crisis-prone South American country. Now, faced with a third straight year of recession and a new antibusiness government, some foreign companies, from airlines to auto parts makers, are pulling up stakes.