The recent decision by the American Federation of Labour Congress of industrial Organisations (ALF/CIO) to boycott Chilean exports, on the grounds of human rights violations by the Chilean regime, threatens the Chilean copper industry.
The recent decision by the American Federation of Labour Congress of industrial Organisations (ALF/CIO) to boycott Chilean exports, on the grounds of human rights violations by the Chilean regime, threatens the Chilean copper industry. But ways to circumvent the ban are being considered.
SYNOPSIS: News of the boycott by the American AFL/CIO was given front page treatment in Chile's newspapers, especially in the Pacific coast port town of Valparaiso. From here a large proportion of the country's silver, wheat, nitrates and copper exports are shipped. It is also the provincial capital and any cutback in export would be of vital interest to the city's population of nearly 300,000 people. Copper exports for the first six months of this year were worth 669 million dollars (334 millions pounds).
In view of the boycott, Chile is considering exchanging markets with other copper exporting nations. A Chilean Copper Corporation official said that, for example, if the ban became effective Chile might have a copper shipment for the U.S. and Zambia a similar cargo for Argentina. In this case it could be arranged that Zambia would ship to the U.S. and Chile to Argentina.
Chile's exports to the U.S. are worth 250 million dollars (125 million pounds) a year, about half of it copper. And since Chilean commerce officials consider the North American market potential as being almost unlimited, the AFL/CIO boycott could deal a service blow to projected trade figures for the region. An executive of Chile's Chuquicamata Copper Mine said the boycott could be catastrophic for his country's copper industry.