Paying For It

Doing business in Burma has often cost American companies p.r. points: Pepsi, Apple Computer and Levi Strauss are just a few of the U.S. firms that pulled out of the military-ruled state after being pressured by human-rights groups. Now, however, doing business with regimes like the one in Rangoon may cost American companies cash as well as goodwill. Last week, California-based oil giant Unocal chose to settle a landmark lawsuit launched by 14 Burmese refugees who alleged that the company was responsible for human-rights abuses by Burmese soldiers working on the $1.2 billion Yadana gas pipeline—a project developed by Unocal, the...

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