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By Carlos Fortin

The large-scale copper mines nationalized by the Allende government in 1971 have not been returned by the Chilean military regime to the U.S. multinationals that previously controlled them. Instead, they have remained in the State sector. Does this mean that the copper policy of the junta is an exception to its general freemarket foreign-investment-ortiented economic philosophy? This paper argues that this is not the case, and that, albeit with contradictions and anomalies resulting from the interplay of various pressure groups within the government, the copper policy of the junta retains as its basic aims those of integration with international capital and a progressive reduction in the role of the State. This thesis is substantiated by an examination of, on the one hand, the government's approach to investment in the copper sector, particularly the limitations placed on the expansion of State enterprises, the policy of concessions to foreign capital, and the policy on further processing and downstream integration; and, on the other, the government's position towards international institutions and initiatives that might express collective Third World self-reliance--such as the Intergovernmental Council of Copper Exporting Countries (CIPEC) and UNCTAD.


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