- Bolivia’s right-wing government courts Washington; China tech crackdown sparks lobbying hires; India talks trade with Wisconsin
Bolivia’s right-wing government immediately got to work courting Florida Republicans and key executive branch officials after ousting socialist President Evo Morales last fall, newly released lobbying records indicate.
CLS Strategies, a Washington firm that often deals with crisis management, helped organize meetings for visiting Interior Minister Arturo Murillo with US decision-makers, media and regional experts back in mid-December. The lobbying work was part of a three-month, $90,000 contract that ended March 1.
The meetings could help burnish the Jeanine Anez government’s credentials both in Washington and domestically ahead of elections this fall.
“Murillo was likely looking to shore up support for Anez’s government by landing photo ops with people in positions of power,” said Paul Angelo, a fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Anez will no doubt use this to great effect when she rhetorically asks voters when the last time Evo Morales secured such high-level meetings in Washington.”
Read the story here.
US crackdown on China tech sparks more lobbying hires
The Donald Trump administration’s crackdown on Chinese technology firms continues to spark a lobbying frenzy.
The Hill reported today that three top Commerce Department officials have left government over the past month to take on lobbying roles at the Washington offices of semiconductor companies as the US boosts domestic firms over its Chinese rivals. One of them, former business liaison director Patrick Wilson, has joined Taiwanese chip-maker MediaTek as vice-president of government affairs. Wilson opened the Semiconductor Industry Association’s first Washington office before joining government.
Read The Hill’s story here.
The moves come as TikTok’s top US lobbyist, Michael Beckerman, wrote a letter to the House Judiciary Committee ahead of its grilling of US tech CEOs on Wednesday to defend the app as independent of the Chinese government. That same day, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed that TikTok is under review by the Committee for Foreign Investment (CFIUS) over parent company ByteDance‘s 2017 acquisition of US app Musical.ly.
NEW FOREIGN LOBBYING FILINGS (FARA)
Brazil: The InterAmerica Group has belatedly filed an English translation of year-old documents related to its support for a July 2019 visit by the governor of the state of Amazonas, Wilson Miranda Lima.
India: BGR Government Affairs disclosed a virtual meeting between Indian Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to discuss trade and investment on July 29.
Japan: The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) gave JETRO New York more than $7.9 million in the first half of the year to promote trade and direct investment to Japan and serve as the branch office of the Kanagawa Prefectural Government. Tatsuya Furujo took over as director of general affairs on Jan. 16.
Japan (Okinawa): Satoshi Uechi has replaced Osamu Unten as president and director of the Okinawa Prefecture DC Office.
South Korea: Haengri Cho replaced John Soo Han as director of the Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Address Foundation on April 1. The Cultural Heritage Administration in Seoul paid $580,000 in the first half of the year for “funding for management and upkeep of the [Old] Korean Legation Museum” in Washington. The museum has been closed since March 14 because of COVID-19.
NEW DOMESTIC LOBBYING FILINGS (LDA)
The American Jewish Committee spent $19,000 in the second quarter to lobby Congress on issues including “support for the foreign affairs budget; support for labeling Hezbollah a terrorist organization, and support for financial support for UN.”
Golden Pass Energy Terminal of Texas, which is 70 % owned by Qatar, paid Timothy Glassco Consulting $30,000 in the second quarter to lobby Congress and the Energy Department regarding “issues related to LNG exports and trade.”
Editor’s note: Foreign Lobby Report is taking a week-long summer break starting Monday. We’ll be back with new stories on Monday, Aug. 10.