- UAE enrolls its lobbyists in F-35 fight
- El Salvador seeks investment as HSBC lobbies on rule of law
- Marshall Islands seizes Congress on Trump administration report that nuclear waste leak is safe
- Biden campaign official joins firm lobbying for China, Turkey
UAE enrolls its lobbyists in F-35 fight
The United Arab Emirates has enrolled its fleet of lobbyists to try to assuage bipartisan concerns from Capitol Hill and the incoming Joe Biden administration over its pending acquisition of the F-35 fighter jet.
Longtime UAE lobby shop Akin Gump and its subcontractor American Defense International are disseminating a 13-page report to US policymakers and key influencers making the case that the fifth-generation stealth jet will provide “frontline defense” for the UAE, the United States and their partners in the region. The report quotes from both US and Israeli officials to make the case that the UAE has proved itself to be worthy of being the first Arab country to field the F-35.
Read the story here.
New lobbying filings
Bermuda: Technology-focused lobbying firm Access Partnership Corp. has belatedly registered as a foreign agent for Bermuda’s Ministry of Home Affairs. The US affiliate of the UK-based firm has worked for the British Overseas Territory since 2004 to help develop Bermuda’s satellite communications industry “on a global scale through establishment of a licensing system, assisting in development of telecommunications infrastructure, and bringing BermudaSat-1 under the necessary regulatory guidelines.” US outreach has included coordination with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The firm has also helped develop Bermuda’s cloud services and storage capabilities, including assisting with data privacy issues, to make Bermuda a more attractive destination for cloud storage. Director Kathryn Martin and policy manager Richard Upchurch are registered on the account.
El Salvador: Invest El Salvador, the country’s export and investment promotion program, has registered under the US Justice Department’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), according to a new filing that has yet to be uploaded to the FARA website. Separately, HSBC Latin America Holdings (UK) has hired veteran Latin America hawk Roger Noriega, a former former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) under President George W. Bush, and his Vision Americas firm to lobby on “enlisting US support for the rule of law in El Salvador as it impacts HSBC’s interests in that country.” The lobbying activity comes as the government of President Nayib Bukele hired a Washington firm led by a former aide to President Bill Clinton last month for public relations help amid criticism that Bukele, a populist ally of President Donald Trump, has trampled on human rights in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Japan: Masayuki Nota, the executive director of the General Affairs Department of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in New York, has registered as a foreign agent.
Marshall Islands: Akin Gump has registered attorney Louis Agnello on its contract with the government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. He is notably expected to lobby for “enhanced funding for continued cleanup of World War II shipwrecks, Compact Trust Fund payment authorization, and an
amendment to the Real ID Act to ensure that drivers’ licenses and personal identification cards remain available for citizens of the RMI while they are living in the U.S.”
Separately, the firm helped disseminate a letter to Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), the chairwoman and ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee panel on strategic forces, from the Marshallese government objecting to key findings and methods in a recent US Department of Energy report. The report concluded that the Runit Dome repository for atomic waste produced during Cold War weapons testing is sound and that radioactive leakage into a nearby lagoon is not significant.
England: The city of Sunderland in England has paid Oliver A. Dulle, Jr. & Company of Missouri $80,000 for marketing and investment services in the 12 months through September.
France: French food services and facilities management company Sodexo has hired West Front Strategies to lobby on “issues related to outsourced services providers in the healthcare industry.” Lobbying for West Front Strategies are:
- Founder and partner Ashley Davis, a former special assistant to Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge;
- Former Senate Judiciary Committee staff director and chief counsel Craig Kalkut;
- Former policy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Malloy McDaniel;
- Kristi Remington, a former deputy assistant Attorney General under President George W. Bush; and
- Shimon Stein, a senior policy adviser for then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
The Quaker lobby Friends Committee for National Legislation has hired Douglas Shaw to lobby on “nuclear weapons policy, nuclear nonproliferation policy, arms control policy.” Shaw is a research professor of international affairs at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and the president of the Asymmetry X consultancy. The registration was effective Nov. 12.
In other news
Politico reports that Robert Diamond, a Barack Obama White House alum who oversaw New York State operations for the Joe Biden campaign, is merging his firm, Stratagem Public Affairs, with Capitol Counsel. He will reportedly be a partner at Capitol Counsel and head up the firm’s executive branch practice. Capitol Counsel is registered as a lobbyist for several Chinese and Turkish interests: The China-United States Exchange Foundation and the US-China Transpacific Foundation, as well as the Republic of Turkey and Turkish Aerospace Industries (via Greenberg Traurig).