US media is reporting that as the rivalry between China and the US intensifies, China has hired 12 former members of Congress to lobby for the country. According to a Foreign Lobby report:
May 17, 2021 Former lawmakers Ed Royce, David Vitter, and Trent Lott were all known for standing up to China during their time in Congress. […] Today, all three men share a different affinity: All three lobby for Chinese companies that have been accused of posing a national security threat to the United States. They are among 12 former members of Congress currently registered as foreign agents for Chinese companies or lobbyists for their US affiliates, according to a Foreign Lobby Report review of disclosures under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), which tracks lobbying by domestic and private companies.
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According to the report, the following former US lawmakers are registered as China lobbyists:
- Former Rep. Ed Royce (R‑Calif.)
- Former Sen. David Vetter (R‑La.)
- Former Rep. Peter Roskam (R‑Ill.)
- Former Sen. Trent Lott (R‑Miss.)
- Former Sen. John Breaux (D‑La.)
- Former Rep. Barton Gordon (D‑Tenn.)
- Former Rep. Jeff Denham (R.-Cal.)
- Former Rep. Albert Wynn (D‑Md.)
- Former Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R‑N.J.)
- Former Rep. Toby Moffett (D‑Conn.)
- Former Rep. Jon Christensen (R‑Neb.)
- Former Rep. Don Bonker (D‑Wash.)
Past GIOR reporting on US lobbying efforts by various influence actors has included:
- A May report highlighting China’s role as top spender on foreign influence operations in the US, with Chinese foreign agent spending skyrocketing from just over $10 million in 2016 to nearly $64 million in 2020.
- A May report on Qatar’s growing lobbying efforts in the US.
- An April report on an LA businessman imprisoned over unregistered lobbying for governments including Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Qatar.