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Kenya hires Democratic firm as it seeks to build on Trump trade talks; second ex-lawmaker lobbies for Libya; Rohingya advocates end lobbying for Myanmar sanctions: Friday’s Daily Digest

Kenya hires Democratic firm as it seeks to build on Trump trade talks

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta hosts then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at State House in Nairobi, Kenya on March 9, 2018 (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Kenya has hired a pair of veterans of the Bill Clinton White House as it presses its case for a free trade deal with the Joe Biden administration and the Democratic Congress.

Washington lobbying and public relations firm Rational 360 will provide “relationship building with government and non-governmental officials, and communications counsel and management” for the Kenyan Embassy in Washington. The $600,000 contract is for one year starting April 12.

The firm’s CEO, former White House communications director Patrick Dorton, is registered on the account along with Joseph Lockhart, a former Clinton press secretary who joined the firm last year. Rounding out the team is senior director Nicholas Fitzgerald.

Read the story here.

New lobbying filings


Japan: Hogan Lovells and RSC Services International both continue to represent the Embassy of Japan as they negotiate new contracts after the previous ones expired March 31. Hogan Lovells has represented the embassy since 2008; its latest contract was for $16,000 per month. RSC Services International, which is led by former Hogan Lovells partner and 1992 Bill Clinton transition team leader Raymond S. Calamaro, has been registered as an agent for the embassy since 2018. Its contract is for $23,800 per month. RSC notably coordinates the firms that assist the embassy’s congressional affairs section.

Myanmar: Fidelis Government Relations ended its lobbying for the Coalition to Stop Genocide in Burma on Feb. 28. The firm had represented the group pressing for sanctions over the treatment of Rohingya Muslims since January 2018 and disclosed $267,000 in payments since then. Terry Allen, a chief of staff to former Rep. Steve Largent (R-Okla.), was the only lobbyist registered on the account. The Coalition to Stop Genocide in Burma is affiliated with the Charter for Compassion in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

$2 million Myanmar lobbying contract raises legal questions


Germany: The Chicago office of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia’s NRW.INVEST economic development agency received $150,000 from the state’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy in the six months through March. 

Monaco: The Monaco Government Tourist Office reported spending over $627,000 in the six months through March to promote tourism to the country.

Middle East

Libya: Former Rep. Toby Moffett (D-Conn.) is now lobbying for Libya’s new Government of National Unity (GNU). A co-chairman of Mercury Public Affairs‘ Washington office, Moffett is the second former lawmaker to register as a Libyan foreign agent after ex-Sen. David Vitter (R-La.). Separately, Mercury announced that five people had left the Libya account: John Deschauer; Rodney Emery; Karen Kennedy; Bryan Lanza; and Brian Toro.

Mercury first registered to lobby for the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) for $2 million per year back in April 2019. Since March 30 the firm has had a month-to-month contract with  Mercury International UK  to represent the GNU, the provisional authority aimed at unifying rival power centers ahead of elections planned for December.

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