Background Notes: Chile

PA/PC Source: Office of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs Date: May 15, 19925/15/92 Category: Country Data Region: South America Country: Chile Subject: Travel, History, International Organizations, Trade/Economics [TEXT] Official Name: Republic of Chile

PROFILE

Geography
Area: 756,945 sq. km. (302,778 sq. mi.); nearly twice the size of California. Cities: Capital--Santiago (metropolitan area est. 5.3 million). Other cities--Vina del Mar-Valparaiso (600,000); Concepcion-Talcahuano (550,000) Temuco (230,000); Antofagasta (220,000). Terrain: Desert in north; fertile central valley; volcanoes and lakes toward the south, giving way to rugged and complex coastline; Andes Mountains on the eastern border. Climate: Arid in north, like the Mediterranean in center, cool and damp in south.
People
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Chilean(s). Population (1991): 13.3 million. Annual growth rate: 1.6%. Ethnic groups: Spanish- Indian (Mestizo), European, Indian. Religions: Roman Catholic 89%; Protestant 11% , small Jewish population. Language: Spanish. Education (1990): Years compulsory--8. Attendance--3 million. Literacy--96%. Health (1991): Infant mortality rate--18/1,000. Life expectancy--68 years male, 75 years female. Work force (4.8 million): Industry and commerce--34%. Services (including government)--30%. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing--19%. Construction--7%. Mining--2%
Government
Type: Republic. Independence: September 18, 1810. Constitution: Approved in a 1980 national referendum. Branches: Executive--president. Legislative--bicameral legislature. Judicial--Supreme Court, courts of appeal, military courts. Administrative subdivisions: 12 numbered regions, plus Santiago metropolitan region, administered by intendentes; regions are divided into provinces, administered by governors; and provinces into municipalities, administered by mayors. Political parties: Major parties include the Christian Democratic Party, the National Renewal Party, the Socialist Party, Party for Democracy, Radical Party, Independent Democratic Union. The communist party was proscribed by law under the previous military regime but initiated proceedings to register as a legal party after the civilian government assumed power in March 1990. It now has legal status. Suffrage: Universal at 18, including foreigners legally resident for more than 5 years. Flag: Upper left blue with a white star; upper right white; lower half red.
Economy
GDP (1991): $29.2 billion. Annual real growth rate (1991): 5%. Per capita GDP (1991): $2,200. Inflation rate (1991): 19%. Natural resources: Copper, timber, fish, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, and molybdenum. Agriculture and fisheries (9% of GDP): Products--wheat, potatoes, corn, sugar beets, onions, beans, fruits, livestock. Arable land--7%. Cultivated land--3%. Industry (21% of GDP): Types--mineral refining, metal manufacturing, food processing, fish processing, paper and wood products, finished textiles. Trade (1990): Exports--$8.3 billion: copper, molybdenum, iron ore, paper products, fishmeal, fruits, wood products. Major markets-- Japan 18%, US 18%, Japan 18%, Germany 8%, Brazil 5%, UK 4.5%. Imports--$7 billion: petroleum, sugar, capital goods, vehicles, electronic equipment, consumer durables, machinery. Major suppliers--US 20%, Brazil 9%, Japan 8%, Argentina 7%, Germany 6.5%. Fiscal year: Calendar year. Exchange rate (1991 average): 350 pesos/US$1. Economic aid received (grants and loans, 1949-85): $3.5 billion, of which only small amounts in recent years.

PEOPLE

About 83% of Chile's population live in urban centers; 40% live in greater Santiago. The largest population group is of Spanish ancestry, but a small, yet influential, number of Irish and English immigrants came to Chile during the colonial period. German immigration began in 1848 and lasted for 90 years; the southern provinces of Valdivia, Llanquihue, and Osorno have a strong German imprint. Other significant immigrant groups are Italian, Yugoslav, French, and Arab. About 400,000 persons of predominantly aboriginal descent, mostly of the Mapuche tribe, reside in the south-central area, around Temuco. Northern Chile is desert and contains great mineral wealth, primarily copper and nitrates. The relatively small central area dominates the country in terms of population and agricultural resources. This is also the historical center from which Chile expanded until the late 19th century, when it incorporated its northern and southern extremes. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands and has a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern extreme of this region is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands. It has modest but rapidly declining petroleum reserves, supplying only 13% of Chile's domestic requirements during 1991.

HISTORY

Chile's human history apparently began about 10,000 years ago, when migrating Indians followed the line of the Andes and settled in fertile valleys and along the coast. The Incas briefly extended their empire into the north, but the area's remoteness prevented significant impact. In 1541, the Spanish, under Pedro de Valdivia, encountered about 1 million Indians from various cultures who supported themselves principally through slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting. Although the Spaniards did not find the gold and silver they sought there, they recognized the agricultural potential of Chile's central valley, and Chile became part of the Viceroyalty of Peru. Chilean colonial society was heavily influenced by the latifundio system of large landholdings, kinship politics, the Roman Catholic Church, and an aggressive frontier attitude stemming from Indian wars. The drive for independence from Spain was precipitated by usurpation of the Spanish throne by Napolean's brother Joseph. A national junta in the name of Ferdinand--heir to the deposed king-- was formed on September 18, 1810. Spanish attempts to reimpose arbitrary rule during the Reconquista led to a prolonged struggle under Bernardo O'Higgins, Chile's most renowned patriot. Chilean independence was formally proclaimed on February 12, 1818. The political revolution brought little social change, however, and 19th-century Chilean society preserved the essence of the stratified colonial social structure. The system of presidential absolutism eventually predominated, but the wealthy landowners continued to control Chile. Toward the end of the 19th century, Chile consolidated its position in the south by suppressing the Mapuche Indians. In 1881, it signed a treaty with Argentina confirming Chilean sovereignty over the Strait of Magellan. As a result of the War of the Pacific against Peru and Bolivia (1879-83), Chile expanded its territory northward by almost one-third and acquired valuable nitrate deposits, the exploitation of which led to an era of national affluence. Although Chile established a representative democracy in the early 20th century, it soon became unstable and degenerated into a system protecting the interests of the ruling oligarchy. By the 1920s, the newly emergent middle and working classes were powerful enough to elect a reformist president, but his program was frustrated by a conservative congress. Continuing political and economic instability resulted in the quasi-dictatorial rule of Gen. Carlos Ibanez (1924-32). When constitutional rule was restored in 1932, a strong middle-class party, the Radicals, formed. The Radical Party became the key force in coalition governments for the next 20 years. The 1920s saw the emergence of Marxist groups with strong popular support. During the period of Radical Party dominance (1932-52), the state increased its role in the economy. However, presidents generally were more conservative than the parties supporting them, and conservative political elements continued to exert considerable power through their influence over the economy and control of rural voters. The 1964 presidential election of Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei by an absolute majority initiated a period of major reform. Under the slogan "Revolution in Liberty," the Frei Administration-- the first Christian Democratic government in Latin America-- embarked on far-reaching social and economic programs, particularly in education, housing, and agrarian reform including rural unionization of agricultural workers. By 1967, however, Frei was encountering increasing opposition from leftists, who alleged his reforms were inadequate, and from conservatives, who found them excessive. At its term's end, the Frei Administration had noteworthy accomplishments but had not achieved the party's ambitious goals. The 1970 presidential election was won narrowly by Dr. Salvador Allende, a Marxist and member of Chile's Socialist Party, who headed the "Popular Unity" (UP) coalition of socialists, communists, radicals, and dissident Christian Democrats. His program included the takeover of much of Chile's remaining private industries and banks, massive land expropriation and collectivization, and the nationalization of US interests in Chile's major copper mines. Elected with only 36% of the vote and by a plurality of only 36,000 votes, Allende never enjoyed majority support in the Chilean congress or broad popular support for his policies. By 1973, most domestic production had declined, and severe shortages of consumer goods, food, and manufactured products were widespread. There were mass demonstrations against the government, recurring strikes, violence by both government supporters and opponents, and widespread rural unrest. Chilean society became polarized into hostile camps. These factors, plus public censure of the Allende Government by the Chilean congress, judiciary, and comptroller general for many abuses--including violations of the constitution--brought about a military coup that overthrew Allende on September 11, 1973, after armed forces bombarded and attacked the presidential palace. Allende did not survive the coup. His death was reported officially as a suicide. The new military regime, led by Augusto Pinochet, severely repressed perceived opponents, especially those it believed to be Marxists. The congress was abolished, and all political parties were banned. Thousands of Chileans were imprisoned or expelled from the country. About 700 others disappeared after arrest by security forces and are presumed dead. During its 16 years in power, the military moved Chile away from economic statism toward a largely free market economy, fostering an increase in domestic and foreign private investment. After years of repression the government slowly reinstitutionalized political life and permitted broad freedom of assembly, speech, and association, including trade union activity. General Pinochet was denied another 8-year term as President in a national plebiscite on October 5, 1988. On December 14, 1989, Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin, running as the candidate of a 17-party coalition, was elected President. In addition, 38 senators and 120 deputies were elected, and 9 appointed senators were named in December. The new government and congress took office in March 1990. General Pinochet remained commander-in-chief of the army as permitted by the 1980 constitution. President Aylwin asked the commander-in-chief of the air force and the director general of the carabineros (police) to remain in their posts. The president also appoints regional administrators (intendentes), provincial governors, and mayors. The central government selects state university rectors.

GOVERNMENT

The constitution was approved in a September 1980 national plebiscite by a two-thirds majority. It entered into force in March 1981. Following discussions between the minister of interior, the leader of the coalition parties opposing Pinochet, and the president of the center-right National Renewal Party, a list of amendments to the constitution was submitted to a plebiscite and endorsed by more than 85% of the electorate. Although critics of the 1980 constitution contended the reforms were not sufficiently far- reaching, they eased provisions for amending the constitution; increased the number of senators; diminished the role of the national security council and equalized the number of civilian and military members; and shortened the presidential period beginning March 1990 to 4 years, although subsequent presidential terms will be 8 years. The bicameral national congress is composed of 47 senators (38 elected and 9 appointed) and 120 deputies. Senators serve for 8 years, with staggered terms. Deputies are elected for 4 years. The new congress took office on March 11, 1990. Current law provides for the location of the congress in the port city of Valparaiso, about 140 kilometers (84 mi.) west of the capital, Santiago. Chile's congressional elections are governed by a unique binomial majority system in which political parties or groupings form pacts and permit slates (two candidates per slate) from which two senators and two deputies are elected from each district. The political parties with the largest representation in the Chilean congress are the center-left Christian Democrat Party followed by the center-right National Renewal Party. No communists were elected in either chamber. The center-left coalition supporting President Aylwin captured about 60% of the elected seats in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. However, with 9 designated senators, the center-right has a 25-22 advantage in the Senate.
Principal Government Officials
President--Patricio Aylwin Azocar Foreign Affairs--Enrique Silva Cimma Ambassador to the United States--Patricio Silva Echenique Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS)--Heraldo Munoz Valenzuela Ambassador to the United Nations--Juan Somavia Altamirano Chile maintains an embassy in the United States at 1732 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 (tel. 202-785- 1746).

ECONOMY

Chile has a diversified free market economy and one of the better educated work forces in Latin America. Industry and commerce account for 21% of GDP and employ 34% of the work force. Non-copper exports like fresh fruit, salmon, wood chips, and footwear continue to expand at double-digit rates. Even though only 2% of the labor force works in mining, Chile remains the world's largest producer and exporter of copper, with reserves estimated at 20% of the world total. Therefore, international copper prices have a major effect on overall economic performance. For most of this century, Chile experimented with various economic philosophies, but the general trend until 1973 was toward increasing state intervention and protecting or isolating Chileans from outside competition. The military government shifted course by opening and deregulating the economy. Under the democratic government which took office in 1990, the pursuit of macro- economic stability within the framework of a market economy has become a consensus view. From the late 1920s to the late 1950s, per capita income stagnated. For a few years in the 1960s, rapid growth was achieved, in part from high copper prices during the 1964-74 period. In the early 1970s, the Allende Government undertook a neo-Marxist experiment with consumption-oriented state socialism. Government policies created enormous fiscal deficits, explosive money growth, consumption subsidies, and gross price distortions. By 1973, real per capita gross domestic product (GDP) and wages had fallen well below 1970 levels. In addition, agricultural production had dropped to the levels of the early 1960s, inflation reached an annual rate above 1,000%, the deficit of the central government exceeded 20% of the GDP, the black-market exchange rate had risen to more than 10 times the official rate, and net international reserves were negative. This situation set the stage for the coup of September 11, 1973. In 1975, in the face of a severe international recession, sharply lower copper prices, the quadrupling of oil prices, and lingering damage from Allende's policies, Chile turned to free market policies under the management of the "Chicago Boys" (a group of young economists trained at the University of Chicago) and began to open its economy up. Foreign investment was welcomed, and capital controls were liberalized. Hundreds of nationalized companies were resold to the private sector, although the government retained key copper, oil, steel, and other companies. Most markets were freed from government controls, and prices were allowed to float. The peso was devalued, permitting an increase in non-traditional exports. With few exceptions, tariffs were reduced in stages to a uniform level of 10%. Incentives for saving and investment were undertaken. For example, corporate and personal income taxes were indexed, capital gains taxation and double taxation of dividends were eliminated, and a graduated sales tax was replaced by a value-added tax. A drastic budget-cutting program ended chronic government deficits and the concomitant inflation and balance-of-payments imbalance. In 1981, the public social security system was replaced by a private system of individual retirement accounts. The reform package was to achieve growth, reduce inflation, increase productivity, increase foreign investment, and diversify exports through stimulating production in the mining, forestry, fishing, and agricultural sectors, which were the traditional strengths of the Chilean economy. Under this free market policy, from 1976 to 1981, GDP increased in real terms by an annual average of more than 7%, inflation declined dramatically, and significant improvements were registered in the general health and welfare of the people. By mid- 1981, however, Chile began to suffer the effects of the economic slowdown of its major trading partners. Prices for Chile's exports, such as copper, forest products, and fishmeal, declined sharply. The rise of international interest rates, besides aggravating the worldwide recession, substantially increased the cost of servicing Chile's large foreign debt. In addition, Chile's fixing of the peso/dollar exchange rate-- starting in mid-1979--seriously eroded the competitiveness of Chilean products. The exchange rate problem, plus mandatory indexation, caused Chilean exports to be overpriced in the world market. As a result, during 1981, Chile experienced an exaggerated increase in imports that was reversed only by a sharp decline in economic activity beginning in the latter part of the year. By mid-1982, in the face of a serious decline in domestic production, a sharp rise in unemployment, increasing bankruptcies, and financial deterioration, the Chilean Government was compelled to devalue the peso further. Previously large external capital inflows dried up. Total GDP fell by 16% during the 1982-83 period. Special regulatory relief was offered to financial institutions; the network of social programs to help the most needy was extended; and a public-works program was established to reduce unemployment. The economy began to recover in 1984 and grew at an average rate of 6% until 1991. This period was characterized by an ambitious privatization of state-owned enterprises. In 1988 and 1989, before the plebiscite and the presidential election, the military government phased out its austerity program and pursued policies designed to boost economic activity. In 1989, growth soared to 10%. However, inflation almost doubled, to 21%, and imports jumped to 30%. Since March 1990, Chile has become more integrated with the world economy. Chile rolled over its 1991-94 debt maturities on commercial terms and successfully placed a $200 million Eurobond issue with 20 of the world's most prominent banks. The economy attracted $1.1 billion in direct foreign investment and posted a trade surplus of $1.3 billion with the dynamic economies of East Asia. On the internal front, the new government implemented an adjustment aimed at decelerating the economy. As a result, Chile registered real GDP growth of 2% in 1990, the lowest rate since 1983. Inflation rose to 27%, the highest rate since 1980. This result was heavily influenced by the rise in oil prices following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. During 1991, the economy regained its vigor without reigniting inflation. Highlights of the economy's performance include 6% real GDP growth, a trade balance surplus of $1.6 billion (24% higher than 1990), a current surplus of about 0.3% of GDP, and foreign direct investment approvals totaling $3.3 billion. Inflation in 1991 declined to 19%. The uniform tariff level was lowered from 15% to 11%, and a free trade agreement was signed with Mexico. In June 1991, the US and Chile signed an agreement to forgive a portion of Chile's PL 480 ("Food for Peace") debt to the US under the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative. Chile also signed an environmental framework agreement tied to the debt reduction to support environmental projects. The government and virtually all economic groups in Chile wish to conclude a free trade agreement with the United States.
Agriculture
Chile's gradual conversion to a free market, export-oriented economy has permitted the agricultural and forestry sector to nearly double production since 1980. The agricultural sector is particularly free market-oriented, with limited government protection for wheat, sugar beet, and oilseed producers. Only a tiny fraction of Chilean land is arable, nevertheless, there are over 300,000 farms; about 50% produce wheat. The average farm size is 45 hectares. The major agricultural production areas are located in the central valley, which extends from 150 miles north of Santiago to Puerto Montt, more than 600 miles south of the capital. The northern production areas normally require irrigation, and abundant rainfall is available in the south. Although crop production is much more important in Chile than livestock production, cattle production for beef and dairy is still significant. However, the demand for beef substitutes has led to an explosive growth of the highly integrated poultry and pork production sectors. The combined consumption of pork and poultry now exceeds per capita consumption of beef. Chile is nearly self-sufficient in food production. Imports meet shortfalls in production where the planted area has been diverted to produce crops for the export market. Chilean agricultural exports in 1991 were more than $1.4 billion and are nearly four times greater than imports. Every year, the agricultural trade balance weighs more heavily in favor of Chile as high-priced fresh and processed fruit exports continue to expand at a rapid rate. The combined value of table grapes and apple exports make up about 40% of yearly agricultural exports. Exports of kiwi fruits and stone fruits (plums, peaches, nectarines, and apricots) will rapidly increase as trees mature. Fruit varieties like chirimoyas, tomatoes, sand pears, and berries will also increase the value of exports. Nevertheless, table grapes and apples continue to be the principal fruit exports. The United States is Chile's main agricultural trading partner, purchasing about half of its agricultural exports and providing about one-third of its imports.
Minerals and Mining
Mining continues to play a critical role in Chile's economy, despite considerable diversification. In 1991, minerals made up 49% of Chile's exports, with a value of $4.4 billion. Copper is by far the most important. In 1991, copper exports totaled $3.6 billion. A 1991 world price decline was offset partially by a 13% increase in copper production. In addition to copper, Chile is an important exporter of gold, silver, molybdenum, iron ore, and non-metallic minerals such as lithium and iodine. Chile is enjoying a major boom in direct foreign investment in its mineral sector based upon its strong geological base (20% of world copper reserves) and the favorable investment regime which the government has maintained. Major US, Canadian, British, and Japanese natural resource firms have invested in large, new copper and gold mines. Several other projects are in advanced stages of planning. At the same time, CODELCO, the state copper enterprise and the world's largest copper producer, has plans for major investment to make up for declining production at its existing mines. The government is seeking to pass a law to allow CODELCO to associate with private firms in joint ventures. Bituminous coal is mined in the Gulf of Arauca region, south of Concepcion, and in the area around Valdivia. These aging, underground mines are facing painful retrenchments. The government has authorized a temporary subsidy to the industry over the next 3 years. A modern, low-cost, open-pit coal mine exists north of the Strait of Magellan. Chilean coal faces competition from coal imported from Colombia and Venezuela. All of Chile's domestic petroleum production is from the Strait of Magellan and the island of Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of the country. The state-owned petroleum company, ENAP, is the country's only producer of crude oil and natural gas, although several foreign petroleum firms have been granted exploration contracts. Domestic petroleum production provided 13% of domestic petroleum consumption in 1991.

DEFENSE

The armed forces are subject to civilian control exercised by the president through the minister of defense. However, each service is headed by a commander-in-chief. Army. 55,000 troops under Augusto Pinochet. The army is organized into six divisions and one separate brigade. There is an air wing. Navy. Adm. Jorge Martinez Busch directs the 29,000 person navy. The Chilean marine corps, with a strength of 5,200, is an arm of the navy. The Chilean fleet of 11 surface vessels and 4 submarines is based in Valparaiso. The navy operates its own aircraft. Air Force. Air General Ramon Vega Hidalgo heads the air force of 12,000. Air assets are distributed among four air brigades headquartered in Iquique, Santiago, Puerto Montt, and Punta Arenas. The Air Force also operates an airbase on King George Island, Antarctica. After the military coup in September 1973, the Chilean national police were incorporated into the defense ministry. With return to democratic government, the police were recently placed under the operational control of the interior ministry. They are led by General Strange, who directs a paramilitary force of 27,000 engaged in law enforcement, traffic management, narcotics suppression, border control, and counter-terrorist. They maintain operational units throughout Chile.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Chilean Government maintains diplomatic relations with more than 70 countries. When the military regime came to power in 1973, the communist countries, except for China and Romania, broke diplomatic relations. Mexico also severed relations with Chile. Relations with Argentina were strained by the boundary dispute at the southern tip of the continent until 1985, when a peaceful settlement was reached with Papal mediation. The loss of territory by Peru and Bolivia to Chile during the War of the Pacific (1879-83) continues to influence some of its neighbors' national attitudes and policies. Bolivia seeks an outlet to the sea and severed relations with Chile in 1978, following a breakdown in negotiations. By treaty, any Bolivian-Chilean agreement involving former Peruvian territory also would require Peru's agreement.

US-CHILEAN RELATIONS

The 1976 car bomb assassination in Washington, DC, of Orlando Letelier, a former Chilean Ambassador to the United States and a member of President Allende's cabinet, and Ronni Moffitt, a US citizen, caused a sharp deterioration in relations and led the US Congress to ban security assistance and arms sales to Chile. In 1981, Congress enacted the Kennedy amendment sanctions, banning all military sales to Chile until the President determined that Chile had made significant human rights progress, was not aiding international terrorism, and had taken appropriate steps to cooperate in bringing to justice those indicted by a US grand jury in connection with the assassination. Responding to the Aylwin Administration's stated commitment to respond to the case, President Bush issued such a finding in late 1990, thus removing a significant barrier in bilateral relations. The United States has continued to press for justice in the Letelier/Moffitt case. A Chilean judicial inquiry, headed by a special investigating judge, continues. Meanwhile, under the terms of the 1914 Bryan-Suarez treaty, the US and Chile agreed to submit the case to an international commission to determine the size of an ex gratia payment by the Government of Chile to the US Government for distribution to the Letelier and Moffitt families. In January 1992, after months of consideration, the commission set the amount at just over $2.6 million. With the return to democracy and progress on the Letelier/Moffitt case, US-Chilean relations have improved and are generally satisfactory. One example of improving relations is that after a 9-year absence, the Peace Corps returned to Chile, with an initial workforce of 28 volunteers.
Principal US Officials
Ambassador--Curtis W. Kamman Deputy Chief of Mission--David N. Greenlee Public Affairs Officer (USIS)--James T. Dandridge, II Political Counselor--Alejandro D. Wolff Economic Counselor--Richard W. Behrend Administrative Counselor--F. Coleman Parrott Chief, Consular Section--Laurence M. Kerr Commercial Attache--Ricardo Villalobos Defense Attache--Capt. Thomas H. Smith, USN Agricultural Attache--Robert H. Curtis Labor Attache--Joseph G. McLean AID Representative--Paul W. Fritz The US Embassy in Santiago is located at Agustinas 1343 (tel. 671-0133). The consulate is at Merced 230 (tel. 671-0133). The mailing address for both is Casilla 27-D, Santiago, Chile. Address for US mail is APO AA 34033. Telex No. 240062 USA CI. FAX No. (562) 699-1141.

TRAVEL NOTES

Customs: A valid passport and a tourist card (issued by the carrier) are required for entry. Requirements for entry and exit by car are numerous, and obtaining necessary documents can be time- consuming. Health: Conditions are generally good in Santiago, except for prevalent smog. Allergic conditions, especially those respiratory related, will worsen in the city, particularly during the winter season. Tapwater is potable, except for occasional winter floods. Do not eat unwashed fruits and vegetables. Although no immunizations are required for travel to Chile, typhoid, gamma globulin, and current tetanus diphtheria toxoid vaccines are recommended. Telecommunications: The telephone system in Santiago and elsewhere is excellent. Time Zone: Chile is 1 hour ahead of eastern standard time.
Further Information
Available from the Superintendent of Documents, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402: American University: Area Handbook for Chile. For more information on economic trends and other information on commercial opportunities, trade regulations, and tariff rates, contact the International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230 or any Commerce Department district office. (###)