Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with J. Michael Springmann
SPRINGMANN: Yes, I think you can say that. We had a trade center in Tokyo and later they opened one in Singapore.
Q: I don't want to push that.
SPRINGMANN: They had a Tokyo trade center, and they talked about one in Singapore. And also about this time the Office of Management and Budget was looking into the organization and saying, what are you guys doing, how can you justify your budge, and conducted a really in-depth investigation. I, in fact, had talked to them a couple of times at one point. They picked my brains on what the hell was going on. I went over looking for a job, and they said, we don't have any jobs but tell us about what's going on in OIM. They wanted major changes, which was resisted, in fact OMB was trying to reorganize the Office of International Marketing out of existence. And they eventually were forced to back down, OMB was. But they effected major changes like closing some of the trade centers, and pressing for more participation in existing trade fairs, which kind of cut back Krause's empire substantially. He eventually retired not long after that.
Q: So you were in this traffic cop job. How long did that last?
SPRINGMANN: A couple of years, I think. I moved to positions dealing with actually marketing trade shows to U.S. business. Then I got to go to Germany in the State-Commerce exchange program.
Q: What was the State-Commerce exchange program?
SPRINGMANN: It's a program that I understand still exists. It fed on Commerce's inability to send people overseas. At one time, I was told, they had what they called the three-legged stool where you would work a while in Washington. You would go overseas for a couple of years, you'd come back to the States, and you'd spend some time in one of Commerce's field offices somewhere in the country. So you got to see the whole gamut of dealing with business, promoting and protecting American interests abroad. And how you interpreted your knowledge abroad to people who were from Iowa and didn't know the first thing about government assistance to businessmen.
Q: What was the reaction when they started this program within Commerce?