[Excerpt from article, "Stairways to Heaven" by Dr. Angelina M. Allen]
Early United States dominance of the first operational space elevator - the White Stork Tower - has allowed them to control almost all orbital activities and commerce.
Now the rest of the world is playing catch-up. The World Union of Space Industry (WUSI) has calculated that using the Stork facility to aid in construction of a second space elevator would result in construction costs that are one-quarter of the original.
Understandably, US officials have balked at the idea of helping competitors build a cheaper platform that could give them a competitive advantage. Stork representatives maintain that the sizable investment risks for the original platform justify the protection of this economic space.
In the meantime, WUSI has aggressively moved to purchase ideal sites for future space elevators. Essentially space-age squatting.