- Ex-Sen. Lincoln lobbies for Brazilian meat giant after COVID-19 outbreak kills six at US plant
- BGR reps Korean conglomerate that produced Oscar winner
- Holland & Knight reps Mitsubishi
- Uzbekistan’s PR firms unveil first-ever sovereign ESG report with eye on ending cotton boycott
- Korean-Americans push for official end to 70-year-old Korean War
- Biden deputy campaign manager launches strategic planning firm
New lobbying filings
Brazil: Former Senate agriculture committee chairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and her Lincoln Policy Group are lobbying for a US affiliate of the world’s largest meat processing company whose Colorado meatpacking plant became the source of one of the state’s biggest COVID-19 outbreaks. The firm will lobby starting Thursday on “workplace safety” and “beef, poultry and pork production issues” on behalf of Greeley-based JBS USA, a wholly-owned of JBS S.A. of Sao Paulo. A COVID outbreak at the plant last year killed six workers and sickened hundreds, sparking accusations of negligence. Also lobbying on the account are Lincoln’s former staff director on the committee, Robert Holifield, and Craig Felner, a former aide to ex-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas). Squire Patton Boggs and the Keys Group have lobbied for JBS USA since before the outbreak.
Japan: Mitsubishi Power subsidiary Mitsubishi Power Americas of Florida has hired Holland & Knight to lobby on “issues related to US energy infrastructure; energy storage and hydrogen; energy policy; [and] trade issues.” Todd Wooten, a former aide to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Senate energy committee staff member, is the only registered lobbyist on the account for the power generation and energy storage affiliate of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Tokyo. This is Mitsubishi Power’s only lobbying hire. The group spent $220,000 on in-house lobbying in 2020.
Japan: The Manufactured Imports and Investment Promotion Organization (MIPRO) of Japan received $196,000 from its head office in the six months through February to “stimulate and facilitate” bilateral trade and US investment in Japan.
Japan: New York advertising agency Ogilvy has registered four more people on its account with the Embassy of Japan in Washington to provide public relations services for the 2021 Cherry Blossom Festival:
- Digital motion art director Michael Kaiser;
- Associate media director Ashley Smith;
- Senior social strategist (influencer) Jasmine Thomas; and
- Public relations professional Ansley Williams.
South Korea: The Los Angeles affiliate of South Korean food, drug and entertainment conglomerate CJ CheilJedang, producer of 2020 Oscar winner “Parasite”, has hired BGR Government Affairs. The firm will provide “guidance and strategic counsel with regard to regulations and legislation that could impact CJ America, Inc.” as Korean food and culture continue to take the US market by storm. Lobbyists on the account include Jonathan Mantz, a national finance director for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign who leads the firm’s Democratic outreach efforts. Joining him are former House Energy and Commerce Committee senior counsel Brent Del Monte; former Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) chief of staff Cachavious English; former Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) deputy chief of staff Erskine Wells; and Joseph Lai, another former Wicker aide who served as special assistant for legislative affairs under President Donald Trump. Artemis ESG CEO Nien Su previously lobbied for the company from 2018 to 2019.
Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan’s public relations team has created the world’s first sovereign Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) report as part of the country’s campaign to improve its global image and lift the international boycott of its cotton industry. The American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce hosted Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Sardor Umurzakov at a recent virtual unveiling of the report, according to new lobbying disclosures by Washington PR firm Xenophon Strategies. The Export Promotion Agency of the country’s Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade hired Xenophon for $585,000 last year to highlight improvements in the rule of law since the death of dictator Islam Karimov in 2016. The firm worked on the project along with its sister agency in Germany, Cometis. The new report notably highlighted “efforts to work with international NGO’s to eradicate forced labor in the agricultural sector [that] are re-positioning the country to become an attractive partner for reliable sourcing for cotton-based textiles, a crucial cash crop for the economy.”
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia is capitalizing on last week’s joint statement by the United States, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom denouncing the attack on Yemen’s central city of Marib by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Saudi lobbying firms Hogan Lovells and Off Hill Strategies shared identical emails with congressional staff. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is working with US Special Envoy Tim Lenderking and UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths to
reach a comprehensive political settlement to the conflict in accordance with applicable UN Security Council resolutions,” the emails state. “This is in line with the Kingdom’s unwavering commitment to achieve peace in Yemen.”
Caught our eye
Korean peninsula: A group of 71 Korean-American leaders from multiple disciplines and generations wrote to President Joe Biden today to urge him to declare an official end to the 70-year Korean War. Politico first reported on the letter in today’s Morning Defense newsletter. “A lasting resolution to the United States’ oldest overseas conflict is long overdue,” states the letter, which was released as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived in Seoul for a bilateral foreign and defense ministerial meeting with Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and Minister of Defense Suh Wook. “We appeal to you to accomplish what no US president has done before: End the Korean War and build a strong foundation for permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.” The war ended with an armistice but no peace agreement in 1953.
The letter comes just one month after attorney Elizabeth Beavers‘ EB Consulting terminated its lobbying for Women Cross DMZ, a group that promotes diplomacy with North Korea and a formal end to the Korean War. EB had been lobbying since May 2019, one month before President Donald Trump‘s visit to the demilitarized zone. Women Cross DMZ is funded by Massachusetts non-profit Peace Development Fund.
Biden ties: Pete Kavanaugh, the deputy campaign manager for President Joe Biden‘s 2020 run and a veteran of the past four Democratic presidential campaigns, has launched a new firm, Highbury Strategies. “We won’t be doing any lobbying on behalf of clients — domestic or foreign. There are plenty of people in DC to do that!” Kavanaugh tells Foreign Lobby Report via email. “We’re focused on the strategic planning side of things, but always open to opportunities to partner if firms have needs.”