The Halliburton Company is a multinational entity from the United States that has vast oil fields in more than 80 countries that it operates in around the world. The entity employs more than 100,000 employees around the world who work it is divisions, branches and brands that it owns around the world. The company has two headquarters, one in Houston in the United States and the other in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. This has been part of a larger strategy by the organization towards growth in the Eastern hemisphere. The entity’s major segment has been the Energy Services Group (ESG) and KBR. Its relationship with KBR was severed in the year 2007 after an estimated 44-year relationship as a means to realign its strategy with new goals and objectives.
The entity started out its operations in the United States under the name of New Method Oil Well Cementing Company in the year 1919. The entity has been influential in the building industry given that it invented the cement jet mixer eliminating the hand mixing method of mixing cement. The entity has been highly successful in the oil and gas industry given its presence in more than 80countries around the world. However, its success has not been without controversies mainly due to its corporate conduct (Baldwin, 2011). Before the advent of the Iraqi war in the early 2000s, it is claimed that the entity was directly awarded with contracts in Iraq and Kuwait worth an estimated $7billion. In addition, this claims included claims of overcharges for fuel deliveries to the United States military in Iraq (World Trade Organization (WTO), 2011).
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as the Transpacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement of 2005, was an agreement for trade that was developed with an aim of managing trade, promotion of growth and enhancing regional integration among member states. The trade agreement has accrued great criticism given that it largely involves countries that represent an overwhelming 40% of the world economy. Claims were leveraged against large corporations such as PhaRMA, Halliburton, Chevron, Comcast and Motion Picture Association of America, for their involvement in development of the TPP agreement whereas institutions such as the US Congress were not provided with the details of the agreement (Capling, & Ravenhill, 2011).
In essence, it is claimed that the TPP would give large multinational corporations with the right to given demands for compensation from taxpayers for institution of policies by governments that were foreseen to undermine the future profitability of the multinational firms. This would be done directly from the treasuries by the governments. The TPP has been claimed as a dark legislation as it would result in numerous violations towards health, the environment and labor protection for workers in these multinational entities. However, the primary aim of the TPP has been to lower trade barriers among the member states and as a means of ensuring prosperity for this group of nations within this agreement (Messerlin, 2013).
The agreement has controversial clauses, which is the reason for the concerns raised by small businesses and civil societies in the assumed member states. It is claimed that the agreement would provide entities such as Halliburton with the ability to sue governments in its different divisions and subsidiaries in offshore or foreign locations around the world. The concern is particularly evident among developing nations that may lack the resources to fight against lawsuits raised by multinational entities. In addition, limiting the sovereignty of the member and signatory nations would occur because of limited exercise of domestic regulations given the independent economic policies that would be enforced by the TPP agreement on the member states (Dent, 2007).
In addition, it is noted that the TPP agreement enforces restrictions on the member states from exercise of any form of capital controls in a bid to mitigate any financial crisis with an aim of promoting financial stability of a nation. There are claims that the TPP agreement would result in additional disasters. For instance, the Deepwater Horizon accident in July 2013 was because of intentional destruction of evidence by Halliburton in a bid to destroy evidence that was needed by BP for a lawsuit filed for the Deepwater Horizon Oil spillage in the year 2010. Such corporate misconduct would become widespread with the anticipated introduction of the TPP agreement (Capling, 2008).
On the other hand, the TPP agreement would eliminate the opportunities for entities such as Halliburton to outsource production to low wage countries that are not within the agreement. Thus, this denies the multinational entities with an avenue to source for cheaper labor if the member nations do not have low wage options for the multinational entities. It is noted that this agreement would provide the United States multinational corporations with an access to large markets in East Asia. This has been termed as essential by the multinational entities given that it would provide new avenues for revenues in the wake of a financial crisis in the United States and around the world (Aggarwal, 2010).
Halliburton would be provided with an access to some of the biggest economies that are a representation of 40% of the world’s economy (Aggarwal, 2010). This would translate to new exports for liquefied gas and oil products to new markets where oil and gas prices are higher than prices in the United States. This is an illustration of the reason that the TPP agreement has been crafted and gained favor and backing by multinational entities in the United States. In addition, the agreement would reduce the avenues for competition with local firms given that Halliburton would operate under the regulations provided by the TPP agreement rather than domestic regulations of host countries. This would result in higher trade between nations within the agreement as well as degradation of social welfare in the same countries given the limitations of this trade agreement.
Aggarwal, V. K. (2010). Look West: the evolution of U.S. trade policy toward Asia. Globalizations, 7(4): 455–73.
Baldwin, R. (2006). Multilateralising regionalism: spaghetti bowls as building blocs on the path to global free trade. The World Economy, 29(11): 1451–518.
Baldwin, R. (2011). ‘21st century regionalism: Filling the gap between 21st century trade and 20th century trade rules’, CEPR Policy Insight 56.accessed at www.cepr.org/pubs/PolicyInsights/CEPR Policy Insight 056.asp .
Capling, A. (2005). All the Way with the USA: Australia, the US and Free Trade. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.
Capling, A. (2008). Preferential trade agreements as instruments of foreign policy: an Australia-Japan free trade agreement and its implications for the Asia Pacific region. The Pacific Revie, 21(1): 27–43.
Capling, A. & Ravenhill, J. (2011). Multilateralising regionalism: what role for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement?, The Pacific Review, 24:5, pp.553-575.
Dent, C. (2007). Full circle? Ideas and ordeals of creating a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific. The Pacific Review, 20(4): 447–74.
Lewis, M. K. (2011). The trans-pacific partnership: new paradigm or Wolf in Sheep’s clothing?. BC International and Comparative Law Review, 34: pp. 27–52.
Messerlin, P. (2013). The EU’s Strategy for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Journal of Economic Integration, 28(2), pp. 285~302.
World Trade Organization (WTO). (2011). World Trade Report 2011: Preferential Trade Agreements and the WTO: From Co-existence to Coherence. Geneva: WTO Publications.