The company was Westinghouse which is trying to get the contract to build a nuclear power plant.... But there was one thing off with the lobbying story – Westinghouse isn’t actually an American company.
Oh it was once, certainly. George Westinghouse did start it in Pennsylvania in 1886, but since 2006 the Japanese corporation Toshiba has been running it. They actually picked it up from British Nuclear Fuels Limited.....
At any rate, the competition for what will be the Czech Republic’s biggest-ever energy contract appears to come from a Russian competitor, Atomstroyexport. At least we’re told it’s Russian.... But just what is the basis for lobbying for Toshiba? Who reaps the benefits? And why?
Quite possibly the question wouldn’t occur to many government people involved in this sort of thing. Toshiba spends about $2,000,000 a year lobbying Washington, two thirds on behalf of the parent company and one third for the Westinghouse subsidiary. While this may pale in comparison to the $25,000,000 plus that old rival General Electric spends, it’s probably enough to remind the right people that Toshiba is a good American company, that is to say, to get them not to think about the fact that it is actually not one.
But whatever Kool Aid they’re drinking on Capitol Hill, it shouldn’t put the rest of us to sleep.
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