Tag Archives: coke

Coca-Cola: Millions to Washington Politicians, Billions to Invest in China

Coca-Cola: Millions to Washington Politicians, Billions to Invest in China

“The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is the world’s largest soft-drink company.  The company owns four of the top five soft-drink brands (Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, and Sprite).  Other brands include Minute Maid, Powerade, and Dasani water.  In North America it sells Groupe Danone’s Evian.  Outside of Australia, Europe and North America, the company sells brands from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (Crush, Dr. Pepper and Schweppes).  Coca Cola makes or licenses over 3,000 drinks in some 200 countries.  It owns 32% of Mexico’s bottler Coca-Cola FEMSA and 23% of European bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling.  In late 2010, TCCC bought out its leading bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), and renamed it Coca-Cola Refreshments USA.  In the fiscal year ending in December of 2010, the company reported sales of approximately $35.2 billion dollars and had 92,800 employees.  Coca-Cola Co.’s CEO, Muhtar Kent, earned over $24 million in 2010…  Coca-Cola is  a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Gene Rackley, the Director of Public Affairs and Communications at Coca-Cola Refreshments, is on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) corporate (‘Private Enterprise’) board.  ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group.  It is much more powerful than that.  Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line.”


Like many multinational corporations, Coca-Cola has really ramped up its lobbying and contributions to Washington DC politicians in recent years, their agenda generally to keep corporate taxes and fees low, regulations light, and to oppose any legislation that would make their products safer to consume, or their impact on the environment less damaging.  From 1989 to 2010 their contributed $8.7 million to politicians – 54% to Republicans and 46% to Democrats with Barack Obama and George W. Bush being 2 of the top 3 individual recipients.  Their reported lobbying investment since 1997 totals almost $30 million, and the list of pockets that money ended up in we’d wager is long and distinguished:


“Consider the debate in Congress about whether to impose tariffs on Chinese imports if China continues to depress the value of its currency.  Roughly 150 House members, including 45 Republicans, have authored a bill to do just that, and the Ways and Means Committee will take up the bill on Friday.  Unions and some domestic manufacturers support the bill.  But a large number of American businesses, in a campaign coordinated by the U.S.-China Business Council, oppose it.  Now, there’s nothing un-American in opposing the legislation as such – far from it.  Support for and opposition to tariffs are both as American as apple pie.  The question here is whether the 220 corporations that belong to the council – household names such as Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Ford, GM, Wal-Mart, Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, J.P. Morgan Chase, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Boeing – are already so deeply invested in China as manufacturers, marketers or retailers that buy goods there to sell them here that their interests are more closely aligned with China’s than with America’s.  Revaluing China’s currency would be helpful to domestic U.S. manufacturers, their employees and the communities where those employees live and work, but America’s largest companies have long since ceased to be domestic.”


“Guess Where Coca-Cola Is Investing $4 Billion…  Who says American companies aren’t investing?  They are.  Billions, in fact.  Only, they are just not investing here in the U.S.  Atlanta based Coca-Cola (KO) plans to invest $4 billion in [‘Communist’] China, the company’s CEO Muhtar Kent told reporters in Shanghai this week.  It’s the company’s biggest planned investment in China since the 2009 investment of $2 billion.  The investments will start next year and is [sic] part of the company’s China capex until 2014.”


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Related Video:

“Coca-Cola is one of the most iconic brands of both the 20th and 21st centuries, promoting itself as the drink of freedom, choice and US patriotism.  But behind this carefully crafted image exists a company accused of environmental damage, human rights violations and questionable business practices.  Political activist and journalist Mark Thomas travels to South America, India and the US to investigate the way in which Coca-Cola and its suppliers operate and the extent to which they upholds moral and ethical obligations.”




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