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Foreign Aid

“Government spends a lot of money, but it doesn't build factories .... The federal government's job is not to manage or control the economy...." -- Dick Cheney

Doors opened for Halliburton while U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was the company’s CEO—especially doors in Washington. While Cheney was in charge of Halliburton, he parlayed political connections and taxpayer assistance into a dramatic global expansion that was fueled through corporate welfare. These corporate welfare checks, paid for by U.S. taxpayers, came in the form of subsidies from the World Bank Group, the Export-Import Bank (ExIm), and other international lending institutions.

No corporation has benefited more from the World Bank's fossil fuel extractive project than Halliburton. Since 1992, the Bank approved more than $2.5 billion in financing for 13 Halliburton projects.

The Export-Import Bank is an even greater financier of Halliburton’s global expansion. Since 1992, ExIm’s board has approved more than $4.2 billion for 20 Halliburton projects.

Other U.S. taxpayer-financed institutions, including the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and regional development banks, tossed in another $1.1 billion for Halliburton-related projects, bringing the overall total U.S. taxpayer-supported financing for Halliburton’s overseas projects since 1992 to more than $7.8 billion.

These institutions support Halliburton projects that span the world, from the coal mines of India to the oil fields of Chad and Colombia. Some of these corporate welfare projects are now under government investigation, such as the Nigeria LNG plant, where not only are Halliburton representatives accused of corrupt transactions, they are also accused, by Nigerian activists, of complicity in the violent suppression of dissent and relocation of Bonny Islanders. This project received $235 million in financial support from ExIm and the African Development Bank in 2002.

When the World Bank and ExIm become involved in Halliburton projects, they provide a cloak of legitimacy to the company’s business deals with some of the world’s most unsavory governments. Additionally, the entire practice of providing government loans for fossil fuel development is under fire, even from the World Bank itself. A vast body of evidence shows that public money is being used to perpetuate an industry that is at the root of climate change, wars, corruption, and a widening gap between rich and poor. These systemic troubles led a January 2004 World Bank-commissioned study, the Extractive Industries Review, to recommend that the Bank get out of the oil extraction business altogether. -- CorpWatch.org

More Information

Houston, we have a problem: An Alternative Annual Report on Halliburton
Dick Cheney: Soldier of Fortune