14 October 2010

Bob Haldeman Interview (16)

Relations with Anaconda Copper Company

Swent: You mentioned Anaconda- -did you get together at all with the
Anaconda management to discuss problems?

Haldeman: No. We were competitors, although friendly competitors. A lot
of things Anaconda did, we didn't agree with eye-to-eye, so we
would have to let them go their own way. They played a lot more
politics than we did. And, of course, we were isolated. The
offices in Santiago, sure, they got together. You're always
listening with one ear and trying to hear the conversation on
the other side with the other ear. We were not against or have
any fights with Anaconda except in the last days, when they were
very bitter at us for our selling 51 percent of the company to
the Chileans. I'll get to that later on.

Did you get into Santiago very much for socializing?

No, I did no socializing at all in Santiago. I vacationed in
the States with the family and went up to see my wife's mother,
my mother, who was still alive at that time, and my wife's
brothers and sister. I was a typical U.S. expatriate working
abroad. The Chilean market didn't have much in clothing or
bedsheets and so forth. So when we went up to the States for a
three-months' vacation every three years--. I shortened the
contracts to two years with two months' vacation to get the guys
out more to the States, and they would come back loaded with
things. We'd send a truck down, and all that stuff. We
imported Arrow shirts.

Sewell American sector

  Swent: I came down on the plane this week with some fellow who was
carrying four lampshades by hand. [laughter] So it still goes

Haldeman: It still goes on. Goods imported from the U.S., people just
love to have them and show them off in their houses. That's why
I have no worry about this North American Free Trade Agreement
[NAFTA]; we'll be money ahead. The more they can buy our goods,
and they love them and let them manufacture it down here, and
they can buy it here with our label on it. The Japanese do it.
Mr. [Ross] Perot doesn't quite agree with me.

Turton passed away, and Michaelson had to go to Santiago.
Turton never did want to go. The New York board of directors
wanted to have somebody for political representation. By this
time we were having problems with our tax rates going up. The
Chilean Congress was starting to levy more burden on the copper
companies to finance the budget deficits rather than try to
develop new business atmosphere. It was just the contrary; it
discouraged new business to come in, because they were treating
the existing businesses badly. That's the way it went.

Index to Haldeman Interview 

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