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Visit to AFS spurs strong interest among Russian metalcasting delegation.

If the number of questions proved any indication, a tour of AFS headquarters appeared as interesting to about 25 Russian visitors as any tourist attractions they saw the previous week in Southern California--and that's including Disneyland, Universal Studios and San Diego's Sea World.

Thanks to the Russian Trade Development Co., Inc., a delegation from foundries and related industries spent two weeks in August in the U.S. to learn about the newly won Russian freedom of capitalism and its accompanying legal and tax issues (as opposed to technical know-how).

The Russians spent their first week in the U.S. in California visiting steel mills and attending seminars on how a free-world economy operates.

In the Midwest, the delegation's tours included Maynard Steel Casting Co. and Grede's Liberty Foundry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Manufacturer's Brass & Aluminum Foundry, Blue Island, Illinois.

During their stop at AFS headquarters, the Russians displayed a strong interest in learning more about the Society.

At an orientation session, Leo Baran, AFS director of membership services, answered a barrage of questions about the Society, including: How much does it cost for an AFS membership and a subscription to modern casting? Who can attend Cast Metals Institute courses? How many Russian magazines does AFS receive? And even, who "orders" what research projects AFS undertakes for the U.S. government?

Most of the delegates seemed intent on learning about the economic benefits and opportunities of a free country.

When asked why he signed up for the U.S. visit, a Russian director of mine production of raw materials for casting processes said: "After hearing about this group, I decided to join it to get more information about U.S. foundries--especially about green sand and any other sands in specific processes."

He added that his goal is to start a cooperative company in Russia with an American sponsor.

For other members of the Russian delegation, the U.S. offered surprising amenities. As one delegate said about the U.S. after one week: "It's wonderful! You have such clean lavatories and comfortable offices--everything is so clean!"
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Title Annotation:American Foundrymen's Society Inc.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Oct 1, 1992
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