Saturday, April 03, 2004
This is an article I cribbed from the Medium Rare Archives. It's about a whole government agency ,OPIC, which exists solely to assist American companies in creating new jobs, just not in America. Enjoy.
SAVE JOBS – ABOLISH OPIC
By Jim Rarey
March 23, 2004
No, not the oil cartel, that’s OPEC (although it wouldn’t be a bad idea to abolish that as well). OPIC is the little known government agency Overseas Private Industry Corporation. Its charter is to use millions of the taxpayers’ dollars to help American companies create jobs……in foreign countries. Although structured like a corporation with a board of directors, it actually is an independent agency in the executive branch nominally reporting to the Office of Management and Budget.
President, CEO and Chairman of the Board is Peter S. Watson. He is well connected in various organizations dealing with international law, a former Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, former director of Asian affairs at the National Security Council and, to no one’s surprise, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
OPIC provides its support to over 400 U.S. companies in over 100 countries. It provides insurance coverage (I) of up to $250 million against currency incontrovertibility, expropriation, and loss of assets due to political violence, wars, etc. It can also provide financing (F) of up to $250 million per project (not per company) however total financing and insurance provided cannot exceed $400 million. Financing can be through direct loans or loans from investment banks which OPIC says are guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States (which means the U.S. taxpayers).
OPIC claims it only provides support in cases where the private sector cannot, or will not. (If you believe that there is a bridge in Brooklyn for sale. See partial list of “clients below.) It says it charges interest and insurance fees at “market rates’ but doesn’t say how that is determined.
OPIC serves small medium and large businesses. Support to small companies typically ranges from $100,000 to $2 million.
The following is a partial listing of projects supported in 2002 (latest figures available)
S & N Pump Company repair facility in Africa $495,000 (Finance0.
Pride Forasol SAS Medical facility in Ethiopia $489,677 (Finance)
Chad Pride Int’l. Oil and gas drilling $100 million (Insurance).
Ghana B & C Management. Gravel quarry $168,560 (Finance
Namibia Diamond Fields Int’l. Diamond mining $15 million (Finance)
South Africa Soros Economic Development. Residential housing $15 million (Finance).
Unocal Corp. Oil and gas exploration and production $340 million (Finance).
Pakistan Remington Holdings. Purchase oil and gas concessions. $130,750,000 (Finance)
El Paso Corp power plant $23 Million (Insurance). - Private company
Citibank N.A. Pakistan lending facility $75 million (Finance).
NIS Regional Caucasus Citibank lending facility $150 million ((Finance).
OPIC claims that by creating jobs in foreign countries it enables them to by American products thus creating jobs in the U.S.
What do you think?
It sounds like just another corporate welfare program to this writer.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
Permission is granted to reproduce this article in its entirety.
The author is a free lance writer based in Romulus, Michigan. He is a former newspaper editor and investigative reporter, a retired customs administrator and accountant, and a student of history and the U.S. Constitution.
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