McDonald's Urged US to Delay El Salvador Pact

Execs sought to use free trade deal as leverage to win legal battle
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2010 6:47 AM CST
Would you like judicial interference with that?   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – McDonald's urged the US to delay a free trade agreement with El Salvador in order to help resolve a long-running legal battle with a former franchisee in its favor, according to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. The cable notes that execs from the fast-food chain told the US ambassador there that they were pushing to delay implementation of the agreement until a judge they believed to be biased was removed from the case, the Guardian reports.

The ambassador told the execs that he had already spoken to El Salvador's president about the case, "emphasizing the stakes at play for a government in desperate need of foreign investment." He warned McDonald's, however, that its attempt to use the Central American Free Trade Act as a bargaining chip "ran directly counter to US interests" and would play into the hands of lawmakers who were opposed to the trade deal.

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