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Hillary Clinton and Walmart

Posted by Ramoo on July 19, 2009

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in India. On Friday, in first leg of her visit, she met Indian business leaders at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel. It is reported that Clinton discussed an array of issues over breakfast with around 10 Indian top corporate names, including Mukesh Ambani. On Sunday, Clinton would be meeting India’s political leaders inDelhi. Along with arm twisting India on the issue of climate change by arguing to limit carbon emission, Clinton visit is to lay the groundwork for President Obama’s visit to India in 2010.

Frank Wisner, former US ambassador to India, was in New Delhi on Tuesday. “We have get out of the global mess that the Doha Round is currently in. If we don’t keep an eye on expanding global trade we all will be worse off than now. The current differences in negotiating positions at the trade round have to be sorted out on priority”, declared Mr. Wisner while addressing Corporate world.

The US is simultaneously pursuing a policy of protectionism and free trade to deal with the economic crisis. Its bail out plan includes designs to go for bilateral agreements to give free-playing field for its corporations particularly of agriculture, insurance, retail and financial sector.

Six out of top ten retailers of the world belong to US, including Wal-Mart, world’s largest retailer and largest private employer. Interestingly, Wal-Mart is the only giant corporation gaining in the recession as consumers flock to its low prices. Over-saturation of existing market force Wal-Mart to aggressively plan its foray into countries like India. Only recently, it opened its first wholesale outlet in Amritsar, Punjab. Its immediate interest lies in advancing its lobbying efforts to change policy of Indiabanning FDI in multi brand retail.

Considering the fact that Hillary Clinton’s relationship with Wal-Mart has been at deeper, longer and higher levels, it won’t be surprising if she uses her ongoing stay in India to bat for Wal-Mart.

In 1986, Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, had appointed Hillary Rodham Clinton, a young lawyer at the Rose Law Firm as a member of its board of Directors. Bill Clinton was the governor of Arkansas, where Wal-Mart is based. The Rose Law Firm, has represented Wal-Mart in several cases.

Hillary Clinton’s six-year tenure (1986-1992) as a director of Wal-Mart, remains a little known chapter. It is believed that Hillary Clinton maintains close ties with Wal-Mart executives even now. Clinton’s home in New York has been a host for top executives of Wal-Mart for private dinner.

Hillary has also been a Wal-Mart shareholder — with stocks of more than hundreds of thousands of US dollars. Hillary Clintons also benefited financially from Wal-Mart. Hillary Clinton was paid $18,000 each year she served on the board, plus $1,500 for each meeting she attended.

Time to remain alert against state-corporate nexus.

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