Bloomberg has a valuable account based on Hillary Clinton's new book about how, as Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton went to bat for General Electric and Boeing on specific business deals:
One example she offers in the book is lobbying Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika on behalf of GE, which was seeking a $2.5 billion contract to help build six natural gas plants in the Northern African nation....Clinton, 66, writes about an October 2009 trip to Moscow where she pushed the Russians to pick the U.S. airline manufacturer for a $4 billion contract.
"I made the case that Boeing's jets set the global gold standard," Clinton writes....Shortly after the Moscow meeting, Boeing donated $2 million to help fund an American pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo, a world fair that attracted displays from roughly 250 countries and international groups. The American exhibition had a $60 million price tag, and Clinton had to finance it with private funds since Congress had barred U.S. taxpayer dollars from being used on such projects.
The company also has given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic organization that she, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter Chelsea, operate.
Neither of those donations is covered in the book.
The CEOs of these companies were on President Obama's advisory councils and invited along on his foreign trips and to state dinners. In some cases, they made campaign contributions. I don't doubt that their foreign competitors were also trying to use political clout to win contracts, but the whole thing smacks of cronyism rather than real capitalism, connections rather than free-market competition based on merit, price, and value.