Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wetting their beak

...in the US/India nuke deal, that is. I must have missed it but it was right there, as plain as day. Leave it to the business-type rags to find the real criminals:
March 6 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush returned to Washington from South Asia facing the task of selling the trip's centerpiece -- a nuclear accord with India -- to a Congress increasingly willing to challenge him on foreign policy.
[...] The agreement, which would open the way for companies such as General Electric Co. and Westinghouse Electric Co. to sell power plant equipment and expertise to India, would require a change in U.S. laws that prohibit sales of nuclear material to nations that aren't part of the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It also is subject to approval by India's parliament and the 44-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, which sets guidelines for the transfer of nuclear-related equipment.
This has been in the hatching for at least a year. And it's not just GE/Westinghouse. Guess who else is (literally) coming to dinner? [July 23, 2005]

[click "Read on, MacDuff!" to continue reading]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Just over an hour after the White House's surprise pledge to help India develop its civilian nuclear power sector, the head of General Electric, the American company that could benefit most from the policy change, sat down for a celebratory dinner.
The host was President George W. Bush; a few feet away was India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, and his top aides. GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt, a contributor to Bush's presidential campaigns, had a coveted seat at the president's table.
Bush's announcement on nuclear trade with India -- followed by a formal dinner in the State dining room -- was not just a victory for Singh. For GE, the only U.S.-owned company still in the nuclear business, it marked a possible turning point in a years-long push to re-enter the Indian nuclear power market, which it was forced to leave in 1974 when India conducted its first nuclear test.
"In the short term, it's really business as usual. ... But if things unfold the way it looks they may, then clearly it is a significant opportunity for us," said Peter Wells, general manager of marketing for GE Energy's nuclear business.
While the policy change may benefit GE and other companies in the long term, critics contend Bush's move closer to accepting the world's largest democracy as a nuclear weapons state could weaken decades-old prohibitions against atomic arms.
[...] GE was not mentioned in the joint statement issued by Bush and Singh, but Bush specifically pledged "expeditious consideration of fuel supplies for safeguarded nuclear reactors at Tarapur."
GE built Tarapur and one of its immediate goals in India would be resuming fuel sales to the reactors, Wells said.
Immelt -- who said in May that "all conditions are right to invest in India" and predicted that GE revenues from there could jump to $5 billion by 2010 -- was not the only American executive at Monday's dinner with a reason to court Singh.
Bush also invited Lockheed Martin Corp. chief Bob Stevens and Boeing Co.'spotential $9 billion market selling combat planes to India. GE makes jet engines for Lockheed and Boeing.
new chief executive, James McNerney. Bush cleared the way in March for the two defense contractors to compete for a
Excuse me. I have to go vomit in terror now.

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