- China’s biggest chipmaker hires first US lobbying firm
- Glover Park lobbies for Ivory Coast presidency
- Pakistan PM’s party gets fourth US agent
China’s biggest chipmaker hires first US lobbying firm amid export restrictions
China’s largest chipmaker has hired its first lobbying firm just as the Donald Trump administration announced export restrictions on the company.
Washington giant Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld will lobby on the “eligibility” of the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) “to import US-origin semiconductor-related goods under US export control laws,” according to a new lobbying filing.
Disclosure of the lobbying agreement comes just days after the Commerce Department sent a Sept. 25 letter to US companies warning them that exports to SMIC posed an “unacceptable risk of diversion to a military end use.”
Read the story here.
New lobbying filings
Ivory Coast: The Glover Park Group has signed on as a lobbyist for the office of Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, according to a new lobbying filing. The firm will act as an adviser on “government affairs and communications matters.” The registration was effective Sept. 18. Glover Park is expected to detail the terms and conditions of the engagement “including duration, fees and expenses” in a forthcoming written agreement. Ouattara, 78, is running for a third term in Oct. 31 elections, sparking accusations from the opposition that the move is unconstitutional.
Registered on the account are Glover Park managing director Brett O’Brien, senior vice president Tod Preston and director Charles Schoenthaler. Also joining them as a consultant is former US ambassador to Ivory Coast Phillip Carter III (pictured).
Glover Park previously signed a $300,000 contract with JWI (Jefferson Waterman International) last November to represent the Ivorian government. O’Brien, Preston and Schoenthaler are also registered on that contract. Carter served as ambassador to Ivory Coast from 2010 to 2013. He was later executive vice-president at JWI and is now an independent consultant.
JWI has represented the government of Ivory Coast for the past decade. Last year it also signed a $360,000 contract with the country’s Cocoa and Coffee Council (Conseil Cafe Cacao) amid calls by some US lawmakers to ban cocoa imports amid reports of child labor. Meanwhile the Supreme Court is due to soon hear a case brought against Nestle and Cargill for allegedly abetting child slave labor in the country.
Canada: Forbes Tate Partners has been paid $121,000 by H.Q. Energy Services US, the US subsidiary of Canadian public utility Hydro-Quebec, as of the end of August. Hydro-Quebec hired the PR firm in July to help with a November referendum in which voters in Maine will decide whether to move forward with the utility’s planned cross-border transmission line. The firm conducted “research, interviews, surveys and polls, analysis of social and earned media, advertising spending tracking and message development” for Hydro-Quebec. The PR push has fueled accusations of Canadian interference in US elections, as we wrote about here.
China: Tennessee government affairs firm Appo-G stopped lobbying for the US subsidiary of Chinese phone manufacturer ZTE on Sept. 30. The firm has disclosed $720,000 in payments from the company since 2016. Former Rep. Jon Lynn Christensen (R-Neb.), the firm’s managing partner, had been the only lobbyist on the account.
- The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) office in San Francisco has registered three new foreign agents: Chief Executive Director Takanari Yamashita , Director Misako Shiozaki and project coordinator Andrew Fast. During the six months through August, JETRO’s Chicago office received $800,000 from Tokyo to boost bilateral economic and trade relations.
- Separately, Ayase Horikawa replaced Yoshiharu Yamamoto as the new chief representative in Washington of the Manufactured Imports and Investment Promotion Organization. MIPRO received $200,000 from its headquarters in Tokyo during the six months through August. The Washington office gathers information on exports, prospective exports and investments for Tokyo.
- Finally, Forbes Tate Partners disclosed $92,000 in fees from the Embassy of Japan in Washington during the six months through August.
Kazakhstan: APCO Worldwide is providing media support for Kazakhstan’s lawsuit against New York financier Daniel Chapman. The Central Asian country sued Chapman in July, accusing him of participating in a “wide-ranging fraud” via his support for Anatolie Stati, a Moldovan investor who has been battling Kazakhstan in courts in the US and Europe for years over its seizure of his petroleum operations in the country 2010. APCO was hired in July by London law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and crafted a July 13 press release about the lawsuit. The firm also reached out to multiple media outlets to seek favorable coverage over the past few months, according to a new lobbying filing. Registered on the account are are Jonathan “Jay” Solomon, the former chief foreign affairs for the Wall Street Journal, and Kent Jarrell, formerly of CBS. Benjamin Marchman, Alison Patch and Rosalind Reischer round out the team. Read our July 10 story about the filing here.
Myanmar: Williams & Connolly received $64,000 for its work on behalf of Myanmar’s Kanbawza Bank in the six months through August. The Washington law firm provides “counsel to KBZ Bank regarding the applicability and effects of US and international laws and legislation and industry standards.” It was hired in August 2019 at the same time a UN report came out linking the bank’s parent company KBZ Group to repression against the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority and targeted sanctions. Attorney William Connor Winn left the firm in July, leaving three people registered on the account: David Aufhauser, Joanna Evans and David Zinn.
Pakistan: Yet another US representative of Prime Minister Imran Khan‘s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) party, or PTI, has registered as a foreign agent. Mohammad Akram of New York wrote in his registration that he will strive to “maintain discipline and accountability within the members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in accordance with the USA laws.” The registration comes amid a dispute between two groups, PTI-USA and PTI-USA LLC, that was dismissed by a US district court in New York in July. Akram joins Qamar Zaman Khan of San Francisco, the PTI USA in Baldwin, Missouri and the PTI USA LLC in Houston in registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Singapore: The US offices of the Singapore Economic Development Board spent $1.9 million in the six months through August promoting “direct
industrial investment and marketing opportunities in Singapore”. During that period Renhao Joel Tee stepped down as regional director in New York while Qian Hui Chia of San Francisco was named regional director.
Poland: The Polish National Tourist Office in New Jersey received $280,000 from the Polish Tourist Organization in the six months through August to promote travel to the country.
Bahrain: APCO Worldwide was paid $55,000 by the Bahrain Economic Development Board to promote investment in the country during the six months through August. During that period six agents left the account: Samantha Maitland, Jason Meyer, Nicole Monge, Lauren O’Leary, Laura Svites and Richard Van Omum.
Iraq: The Chicago-based Nineveh Plain Protection Fund reported $16,500 in mostly web-based contributions during the six months through August for its mission to arm and equip Iraqi Christian groups in northern Iraq. The group participated in teleconferences with the Office of the Secretary of Defense in June and the State Department bureau for Near Eastern Affairs in August.
Kuwait: Los Angeles law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan received $97,000 from Kuwait-based US government contractor Agility Public Warehousing Company KSCP in the six months through August. The firm is representing Agility in its legal fight with another Kuwait-based US contractor, KGL Logistics, over accusations that Agility falsely smeared KGL as having ties to Iran.