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New foreign lobbying contracts top $7 million in May

Foreign countries and individuals disclosed lobbying contracts worth more than $7 million last month, according to a Foreign Lobby Report analysis of documents filed with the US Justice Department during the month of May.

Topping the list is Paris-based Pakistani businessman Hashim Mughal, who hired Sonoran Policy Group on May 18 for $2 million to help build pressure on Saudi Arabia to release his former associate, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud. The prince was among 11 royals arrested in January 2018 on orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after holding a rare protest.

Argentina’s Ministry of International Trade and Foreign Investment meanwhile hired Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer for $1.932 million on May 7 as the South American country seeks to renegotiate about $65 billion in foreign debt. The Glover Park Group in turn is set to make $432,000 as a subcontractor to Arnold & Porter.

And the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Ministry of Finance hired Baker & McKenzie in March to “assist the government with a broad economic restructuring mandate and assist with the government’s multilateral relations with the International Monetary Fund.” The contract is for at least $1.35 million.

The six other new registrants include the Pacific island of Vanuatu, which is lobbying on climate change.

By Chistine Suh / Foreign Lobby Report

Several other firms have also disclosed work on behalf of foreign clients without detailing their contracts.

Carlos Abadi and his New York firm DecisionBoundaries are assisting Global Sovereign Advisory of France in advising the Association of Banks in Lebanon regarding restructuring financial claims that the ABL membership holds against Lebanon. And BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) registered for the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (via BCW Asia Pacific).

Finally, the Qatar-America Institute belatedly registered as a foreign agent of the Qatari government at the demand of the Justice Department, as we first reported Wednesday.