Chevron Corp. was fixated on roses.
The giant U.S. oil company objected last June when Washington proposed allowing duty-free rose imports from the world’s poorest countries, including Ecuador.
A decade earlier, an Ecuadorean court had blamed Chevron for oil pollution and told it to pay $9.5 billion in damages, one of the largest-ever penalties of its kind.
Chevron had since proved the verdict fraudulent, it told the U.S. Trade Representative. But Ecuador refused to render it unenforceable despite an order to do that from an international arbitration tribunal. Letting Ecuador save money on flowers after blatant “acts of defiance” would tell the world the U.S. rewards bad behavior, the oil company said.
Chevron lost the war of the roses. But it still hasn’t paid a cent of the Ecuadorean judgment, and says it won’t stop legally battling until it can ensure that it never has to.