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Sour grapes in Chile

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SCOTT JAGOW: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s making enemies in South America. Chile is upset about the governor’s recent push for California produce. In fact the front page headline this week was “The Terminator Attacks Chilean Fruit.” From our America’s Desk at WLRN, Dan Grech reports.


DAN GRECH: The furor started when a Chilean newspaper reported that Governor Schwarzenegger is pushing the slogan “Buy Only California” as part of his election campaign.

Latin America expert Mark Falcoff says Chilean farmers were up in arms.

MARK FALCOFF:“Try to picture this country, which is small, it feels isolated, it has opened its economy to the world, which has made it more vulnerable to protectionism in its major markets, of which by the way, this is one.”

Chile sends winter avocados, peaches and table grapes to the U.S., not to mention wines.

Falcoff says the country shouldn’t be so touchy.

FALCOFF:“Chile is actually in a much stronger position to compete in these products than they themselves think.”

A spokesperson for Schwarzenegger says the uproar in Chile is a misunderstanding.

The campaign isn’t “Buy Only California;” it’s simply “Buy California.”

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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