Latest filings

China’s Xinhua news agency registers as foreign agent; strife-filled East African nations dominate $3 million in new lobbying; Ethiopian diaspora hires Colorado Democrat for Tigray advocacy: Monday’s Daily Digest

China’s Xinhua registers as a foreign agent three years after US Justice Department told it to

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China’s official state-run press agency has finally registered as a foreign agent three years after the US Department of Justice told it to.

Xinhua News Agency North America, which is based in New York, registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) on May 5, according to filings that were uploaded to the FARA unit’s web site on Saturday.

Read the story and check out our chart of all US-mandated foreign media registrations here.



Strife-filled East African nations dominate $3 million in new lobbying to placate US critics

East African nations facing domestic strife dominated new lobbying business last month as they seek to placate mounting criticism in Congress and the Joe Biden administration, according to a Foreign Lobby Report review of filings disclosed to the Department of Justice in April.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Peace for example hired Holland & Knight for six months and $270,000 as fighting rages in the northern region of Tigray, sparking bipartisan calls for an independent investigation.

In next-door Somalia, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed‘s government has retained New Jersey-based lobbying firm LFA Holdings for $150,000 to help organize a presidential visit to Washington as the State Department demands that stalled elections be held “immediately.”

And in Uganda, the government of President Yoweri Museveni has hired Mercury Public Affairs for an undisclosed amount as the US governments reassesses its relationship with the country following reports of voter intimidation during January elections that saw the president re-elected to a sixth term.

Read the story and see our full run-down of all the contracts here.


New lobbying filings

Africa

Ethiopia: The Boulder-based Ethiopian American Civic Council has added Democratic strategist Ted Trimpa to its growing line-up of lobbyists pushing Congress and the Joe Biden administration for increased humanitarian aid as well as media and stakeholder access to the country’s northern Tigray region. Trimpa was once dubbed “Colorado’s answer to Karl Rove” by The Atlantic for his work helping Democrats win elections in the long-red state. His Trimpa Group joins former Colorado state lawmaker Joe Miklosi (D-Denver) as well as Monica McCafferty and her Colorado public affairs firm MCM Strategies on the account.

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Americas

Peru: Development Counsellors International has registered senior vice-president for tourism, sales and marketing Daniella Middleton as well as destination marketer Stella Tsitsipatis on its account with Peru’s tourism board. The New York marketing firm has represented PromPeru since 2013.

Asia

Japan: The Embassy of Japan has renewed its contract with Hecht, Latham, Spencer & Associates for one year starting April 1. The contract is for around $14,300 per month ($172,000), the same as previously. The firm has represented the embassy since 2001. Japan is its only foreign sovereign client. Former Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush aides Stuart Spencer and Timothy Hecht and former Democratic Ways & Means Committee staffer Franklin Phifer are registered as foreign agents on the account.

Europe

Netherlands: Development Counsellors International has registered marketing and communications professional Dariel Curren on its account with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency. The firm has been registered as a foreign agent for the agency since 2015.

Scotland: Development Counsellors International has registered senior vice-president for tourism, sales and marketing Daniella Middleton as well as destination marketer Stella Tsitsipatis on its account with VisitScotland. The New York marketing firm has been registered as a foreign agent for Scottish Development International since 2012.

Spain: Development Counsellors International has registered senior vice-president for tourism, sales and marketing Daniella Middleton as a foreign agent for the Barcelona Turisme Convention Bureau. The New York marketing firm has been registered as a foreign agent for the bureau since 2017.



Caught our eye

Anna Massoglia over at the Center for Responsive Politics has a fascinating rundown of all of Rudy Giuliani‘s foreign entanglements as far as can be ascertained from an examination of lobbying filing under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The former mayor of New York is under investigation for possibly acting as an unregistered foreign agent while serving as President Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer.

Eli Clifton of the Quincy Institute and Ben Freeman of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative have a new report on foreign funding of think tanks and the transparency steps they can take to restore the public’s trust.

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