Latest filings

Ukraine gas lobby hires PR firm to fight Russian pipeline to Europe; Myanmar lobbyist drops $2 million contract after failing to secure sanctions waivers; ex-Rep. Christensen ends China work

Welcome to Foreign Lobby Report’s biweekly roundup of all the latest lobbying developments. Every week we go through dozens of filings under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) to offer our readers the most comprehensive snapshot anywhere of the foreign governments, political groups and businesses trying to influence US policymaking and public opinion.

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New lobbying filings

Asia

Malaysia: The Malaysian Investment Development Authority in California has registered Deputy Director Ahmad Nur Fayyadh Ahmad Jaafar of San Jose as a foreign agent. Jaafar’s role is to “promote and facilitate investment of Malaysian and US companies in relation to manufacturing and its related services.”

Myanmar: The lobbying firm representing Myanmar’s ruling junta has ended its controversial defense of the Feb. 1 military coup after failing to secure approval from US and Canadian authorities.

Canada-based Dickens and Madson signed a $2 million contract with Defense Minister Mya Tun Oo for public relations and lobbying services in early March, Foreign Lobby Report first reported. According to the agreement, the firm’s founder, former Israeli intelligence official Ari Ben-Menashe, was expected to lobby Congress and the Joe Biden administration as well as the governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Russia in addition to the United Nations, the African Union and other international organizations and NGOs.

new lobbying disclosure with the Department of Justice however indicates that the contract has been terminated as of June 30 and that no money exchanged hands.

Read our story on the termination here.

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South Korea: Washington digital marketing agency Bluetext has registered public affairs associate Suzanne Whiddon O’Donnell as a foreign agent for the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The firm has a $5,000-a-month contract with K&L Gates to draft content for the US Korea Connect website.

Europe

Iceland: Media Planning International Corporation, the Miami office of French multinational advertising and public relations company Havas, has registered eight more people as foreign agents for Promote Iceland. The firm is working on a three-year contract between Havas Media Frankfurt GmbH and the Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation on a campaign to attract more visitors from the US.

Ukraine: The Ukrainian Federation of Employers of the Oil and Gas Industry has retained New York-based Karv Communications for help “improving the image of the oil and gas industry of Ukraine” and “promoting energy security issues in the US economic and political media,” including “Nord Stream 2 related sanctions.” The contract is for $420,000 and runs for seven months, from July 1 through Jan. 31, 2022.

Read the full story here.

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Middle East

Iran: BGR Government Affairs is distributing messages from Senate Foreign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other current and former US officials who addressed last weekend’s annual rally by the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran. The firm has signed a $40,000 through the end of the month to promote the virtual event.

READ MORE:

Israel: Media Planning International Corporation, the Miami office of French multinational advertising and public relations company Havas, has registered media operations supervisor Diana Amador on its account with the Israeli ministry of tourism.


Business lobbying

China: Tennessee government affairs firm Appo_G has terminated its lobbying registration on behalf of the US affiliate of Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus effective April 1. Former Rep. Jon Christensen (R-Neb.), a managing partner with the firm, had been the only registered lobbyist on the account. The firm registered in October 2020 to help the OnePlus USA Corporation of Irving, Texas with visa applications but did not disclose any lobbying activity in 2021.

READ MORE:

Denmark: Washington government affairs firm Owen Evans Ingols has registered to lobby for the US affiliate of Danish renewable energy company Orsted, effective July 1. Former Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources staff director Daryl Owen, former Energy Department chief of staff Adam Ingols and Bruce Evans, a former staff director fpr the Appropriations and Energy and Natural Resources committeess, will lobby on “issues related to offshore renewable energy development.” Orsted North America‘s in-house lobbying arm disclosed $130,000 in spending in the first quarter. Meanwhile Orsted Wind Power North America is represented by Jim Massie & Partners.


Caught our eye

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest pro-Israel lobby in the US, has canceled its March 2022 annual conference because of the Covid epidemic, Jewish Insider reports. Last year’s conference was held virtually.

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