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A $16 Billion Problem

Author: Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, Published on: 26 July 2008

…[T]his spring...a court appointed expert recommended Chevron be required to pay between $8 billion and $16 billion to clean up the rain forest [in Ecuador]…Chevron is pushing the Bush administration to take the extraordinary step of yanking special trade preferences for Ecuador if the country's leftist government doesn't quash the case. A spokesman for U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab confirmed that her office is considering the request. Attorney Steven Donziger, who is coordinating the D.C. opposition to Chevron, says the firm is "trying to get the country to cry uncle." He adds: "It's the crudest form of power politics."… Chevron argues that it has been victimized by a "corrupt" Ecuadoran court system while the plaintiffs received active support from Ecuador's leftist president, Rafael Correa... The company says a loss could set a dangerous precedent for other U.S. multinationals. "The ultimate issue here is Ecuador has mistreated a U.S. company," said one Chevron lobbyist…

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Related companies: Chevron Texaco (part of Chevron)