- AG Barr warns US businesses over China advocacy; Democrats’ 2020 platform snubs progressives on Israel; Defense industry lobbyist joins House Armed Services; Ex-Rep Frelinghuysen lobbies for Canadian tech company
Barr threatens to treat US companies as Chinese agents
The Donald Trump administration put US companies on notice today that they could run afoul of the Justice Department if they advocate for policies favored by China.
In a speech accusing technology companies, Hollywood and US universities of kowtowing to Beijing, Attorney General Bill Barr warned that business leaders that seek to curry favor with the Chinese Communist Party by pushing its priorities may have to register as foreign agents of China.
“America’s corporate leaders might not think of themselves as lobbyists — you might think for example that cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship is just part of guanxi, the system of influential social networking necessary to do business in the PRC,” he said. “But you should be alert to how you might be used, and how your efforts on behalf of a foreign company or government could implicate the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”
Read his full comments on the issue here.
Progressives fail to shift draft Democratic 2020 platform on Israel
Democrats’ 2020 draft presidential platform on Israel remains largely unchanged from years past despite pressure from progressives to condemn the occupation of the West Bank, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported today.
The document reportedly calls for preserving US military aid to Israel and rejects the pro-Palestinian boycott movement. But it does not mention Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s plans to annex the West Bank.
“We’re very concerned that the draft apparently makes no reference to Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory,” the liberal group J Street said in a statement to JTA.
The platform has not been released publicly but JTA obtained notes from someone who was read the platform’s Israel portion over the phone. Read the story here. The outlet also has a revealing profile of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden‘s new Jewish engagement director, Aaron Keyak.
Lobbyist for Israeli defense firms joins House Armed Services
The House Armed Services Committee has a new counsel, Legistorm reports : Jeffrey Bozman.
Bozman was previously special counsel at Covington & Burling, where he represented several US and foreign defense firms. These include the US subsidiary of British arms maker BAE Systems, maker of the Typhoon fighter jet, and the US subsidiaries of Israeli dronemaker Elbit Systems and gunmaker IMI Services (formerly Israel Military Industries). He also lobbied for the US subsidiary of Canada’s Bombardier Aerospace, which makes civilian jets.
NEW FOREIGN LOBBYING FILINGS (FARA)
No new updates.
NEW DOMESTIC LOBBYING FILINGS (LDA)
Rugged Displays, a company that manufactures display technology, has hired Greenberg Traurig to lobby effective June 1. The company’s Canadian parent is owned by Ontario-based IGNIS. Former congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Republican of New Jersey, will lobby on the account along with Michael Rogers, a former aide to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), in addition to Robert Jones. They plan to conduct “administrative and legislative monitoring and outreach on issues related to increasing domestic manufacturing capacity for defense technologies.”
Second quarter filings are pouring in ahead of the July 20 deadline. We curate the relevant ones so you don’t have to.
The Institute for Gulf Affairs paid Gotham Government Relations $15,000 in the second quarter even though the firm did not do any lobbying and the Washington nonprofit is dormant. The institute’s founder, Saudi dissident Ali al-Ahmed, is embroiled in lawsuits against the kingdom and its US agents and recently sued Twitter.
The US subsidiary of British defense company BAE Systems spent $780,000 on in-house lobbying in the second quarter. The company lobbied Congress and the Pentagon on Defense authorization and appropriations. It also lobbied Congress on foreign military sales.
The US subsidiary of US-Israeli drugmaker Teva Pharmaceuticals spent $580,000 on in-house lobbying in the second quarter. The company lobbied Congress, the White House and the Department of Health and Services on COVID-19 issues and drug pricing issues. It also lobbied the State Department on “foreign export restrictions pertaining to India and Italy.”
Airbus America paid the Glover Park Group $40,000 in the second quarter to lobby Congress on “matters pertaining to US and European Union Civil Aviation industries” as well as legislation relating to trade, airport infrastructure funding and Federal Aviation Administration.
Rum maker Bacardi North America paid the Cormac Group $40,000 to lobby Congress and the State Department in the second quarter. The firm notably lobbied on Cuban trademarks legislation.
The US subsidiary of Cemex Espana paid the Twenty-First Century Group $35,000 in the second quarter to lobby Congress on the building materials industry.