sábado, 21 de febrero de 2015

The Clinton's and the promotion of U.S. business abroad

The Democratic Party has a reputation of backing “liberal” or “progressive” causes, but if the party’s leading candidate gets into the presidency of the United States giant corporations may uncork campaign bottles and thank God the president so strongly promotes U.S. business abroad.
        In her book “Hard Choices” Mrs. Clinton said one of her goals when she was in charge of the State Department was “placing economics at the heart of our foreign policy.” She wrote: “It was clearer than ever that America’s economic strength and our global leadership were a package deal.”
       According to the Wall Street Journal, which nobody suspects of progressive sympathies, pointed out in an article published February 20th that “Among recent secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton was one of the most aggressive global cheerleaders for American companies, pushing governments to sign deals and change policies to the advantage of corporate giants such as General Electric Co., Exxon Mobil Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Boeing Co.”
       According to their tax returns, the Clinton Foundation and its affiliates have collected donations and pledges from all sources of more than $1.6 billion. What no doubt causes progressives to shake their heads in confusion is that those companies the Clinton’s promoted abroad figure as those who also promoted the family’s foundation—set up by Hilary’s husband, former President Bill Clinton. At least 60 companies that lobbied the State Department during her tenure donated a total of more than $26 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of public and foundation disclosures.
        The Clinton Foundation explains: “We believe that the best way to unlock human potential is through the power of creative collaboration. That's why we build partnerships between businesses, NGOs, governments, and individuals everywhere to work faster, better, and leaner; to find solutions that last; and to transform lives and communities from what they are today to what they can be, tomorrow.”
         Among the powerful multinational corporations that have donated to the Foundation are Microsoft which since 2005 has given the Clinton Global Initiative $1.3 million, not to mention free software, according to the foundation.
         Another contributor, General Electric, got Mrs. Clinton’s backing in 2012 to be selected by the Algerian government to build power plants in that country. She went to Algiers in October of that same year to meet with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and remarked: ““I saw an opportunity for advancing prosperity in Algeria and seizing an opportunity for American business,” she explained in her book.
       Mrs. Clinton has championed U.S. energy companies and also the Global Shale Gas Initiative which advocates hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Many of her efforts have focused in Eastern and Central Europe, where she considers energy development as a hedge against Russia’s dominance in oil and gas. Ben Schreiber of the environmental group Friends of the Earth says: “We’ve long been concerned about the ties that Hillary Clinton has to the oil-and-gas industry.”
      Corporations can legally give money to foundations and do so as a gimmick to avoid paying taxes and such operations only become illegal if there is an exchange of favors involved. However, that is extremely difficult to detect.
       What is clear is that should Mrs. Clinton get into the White House she would certainly be an aggressive promoter of U.S. business abroad and that has many economic, political and diplomatic implications. While Washington incessantly defends the development of free market economics on a global scale, it also actively promotes the activities of corporate giants. The Clinton Foundation not only promotes U.S. business but also causes such as women’s rights and education in foreign countries—as the Foundation itself testifies at https://www.clintonfoundation.org/
       U.S. politics is closely tied to a network of lobbies and foundations, so should Mrs. Clinton become the Democratic presidential candidate there will certainly be heated discussions about the role of big business abroad.

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