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Mexico, Libya, Qatar top $12.5 million in May lobbying disclosures

Mexico’s $12 million debt restructuring engagement with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton topped the list of new foreign agent registrations last month, according to a Foreign Lobby Report review of filings disclosed with the Department of Justice in May.

The New York law firm has a four-year contract with Mexico’s Ministry of Finance and Public Credit. While the contract dates to December 2019, the firm just filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) because it will “begin performing registrable activities on behalf of foreign principal on or after May 25, 2021,” according to the disclosure.

Those activities include advising the ministry on “engaging with state and federal government officials.” The firm is expected to provide “state and federal government affairs advice and consulting services … with respect to proposed sovereign debt restructuring legislation.” The contract runs until the end of 2023.

The contract is one of several older engagements that were only recently disclosed as their lobbying portion begins.

Law firms Baker & Hostetler and Holland & Knight for example are begin to lobby US officials on behalf of the Libya Asset Recovery & Management Office, which seeks to recoup billions of dollars in assets stolen by the late dictator Moamar Gadhafi and his cronies (read the story here). Meanwhile Situational Advising Analysis Consulting Services of Miami has disclosed its lobbying for Hussein Mohamed Farrah Aidid as the son of Somali warlord Gen. Mohamed Farrah Aidid takes on a more active role in that country’s presidential race (see our story here).

In terms of new contracts, the US trading arm of China’s largest oil and gas company has hired Davidoff Hutcher & Citron for help with “regulations and policy related to commodities trading” (story here).

In other news, Qatar’s mission to the International Civil Aviation Organization has hired a US firm for support carving out its own airspace from Bahrain’s.

And former Guinean Prime Minister Cellou Diallo has hired a retired US Army colonel to press for sanctions against President Alpha Conde after suffering a third electoral defeat against the West African country’s decade-long leader (read our story here).

* Lobbying part of the contract recently started
Source: US Department of Justice / Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)

In addition to lobbying, US firms also disclosed five new public relations contracts.

Los Angeles-based Myriad International Marketing is boosting travel to Australia and Argentina, while New York economic development and travel marketing firm Development Counsellors International is working with Costa Rica to implement an advertising plan promoting the Central American country as an investment and export hub.

Separately, the Israeli government-backed nonprofit Shalom Corps has hired Democratic political fundraising firm Berger Hirschberg Strategies to serve as a fundraising consultant.

And Haitian businessman-turned-politician Reginald Boulos has hired PR firm Novitas Communications along with former Colorado state representative Joe Miklosi (D-Denver) as he eyes a presidential run this fall.

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Source: US Department of Justice / Foreign Agents Registraton Act (FARA)

Finally, lobbying and public relations disclosed 17 contract extensions and renewals last month worth several million dollars.

The renewals were dominated by Chinese video surveillance giant Hikvision‘s year-long renewal with BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe).

And the Embassy of Japan, whose contracts typically run from April 1 through March 31, renewed no fewer than six contracts for another year.

Source: US Department of Justice / Foreign Agents Registraton Act (FARA)

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