I deleted a comment regarding the accusations regarding NCH involvement in economic espionage activities by receiving sensitive data obtained through the global surveillance Echelon system.
The user commented that the information was used in order to complete real estate transactions and privatizations in Romania.
The use of Echelon in economic espionage started a scandal in Europe – a report presented by the European Union a few years ago showed companies like AIR FRANCE, AIRBUS, BASF, or VW having some strategic transactions compromised by The Advocacy Center (explained below).
Although it can be very interesting reading, my blog has some limitations and I advise all my readers not to post these types of comments and accusations.
The Advocacy Center, which is attached to the US Department of Commerce, is at the heart of the national export strategy employed by President Clinton and continued by President Bush. It acts as the interface between the TPCC and the US economy. By its own account, since its inception in 1993 the Center has helped hundreds of US firms to win public contracts abroad.
The Advocacy Center helps US businesses by:
– marshalling the resources of the US Administration – from the various financing, regulatory, country and sector experts, through the worldwide network of commercial officers, to the White House;
– fighting to level the playing field and promote open competition in the international bidding arena – from the multibillion dollar infrastructure project to the strategic contract for a small business;
– pursuing deals on behalf of US companies from start to finish, through â€™hands-onâ€™ Support;
– supporting US jobs and boosting US exports through the successes of US companies who successfully bid for overseas projects and contracts;
– assisting US firms with stalled negotiations due to foreign government inaction or â€™red tapeâ€™.
The Advocacyâ€™s Centerâ€™s operating methods
Only the Director and a small staff complement of 12 persons work at the Center itself (situation as at 6 February 2001). The project managers cover the following areas: Russia and the newly independent countries (including Romania); Africa, East Asia and the Pacific; the Middle East and North Africa; South Asia; Bangledesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka; Europe and Turkey; China, Hong Kong and Taiwan; Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America; the aerospace, automobile and defence industries worldwide; and the telecommunications, IT and computer industries worldwide.
The Center provides firms with a central contact point for their dealings with the various US authorities involved in promoting exports. It works on behalf of firms on a non-discriminatory basis, but, in line with the clear rules governing its work, supports only projects which are in the US national interest. For example, projects manufactured in the USA must make up at least 50% of the value of the goods delivered under any given contract.