QatarAugust 8 2022, 15:06 pm

Qatar Continues Spending Spree on US Lobbying, Hires 10th Lobby Firm in 2022

A US lob­by­ing watch­dog is report­ing that Qatar has recent­ly hired sev­er­al US lob­by firms for gov­ern­ment and media out­reach and com­mu­ni­ca­tion coun­sel­ing activ­i­ties. Accord­ing to a data­base by Open Secrets, the Qatari gov­ern­ment has hired no less than ten US lob­by­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion agen­cies to work on its behalf in 2022 alone. Accord­ing to the data­base, the fol­low­ing firms have been engaged in 2022:

  • Lumen8 Advi­sors (July)
  • BRG Gov­ern­ment Affairs (June)
  • SGR Gov­ern­ment Rela­tions & Lob­by­ing (June)
  • Deci­sion Sci­ences Corp (May)
  • Nel­son, Mullins, et al (April)
  • Beck­er & Poli­akoff (March)
  • Blue­print Advi­sors (March)
  • Mer­cury Pub­lic Affairs (Feb­ru­ary)
  • Rubin Turn­bull & Assoc (Feb­ru­ary)
  • Ven­able LLP (Jan­u­ary)

The data­base says these firms were hired either by the Gov­ern­ment of Qatar or the Qatari Embassy in the US. In addi­tion, the data­base lists sev­er­al Qatari state-linked enti­ties that have also engaged in US lob­by­ing efforts, includ­ing the secu­ri­ty firm Barzan Hold­ings, Qatar Muse­um, the Qatar Foun­da­tion, and the Civ­il Avi­a­tion Author­i­ty of Qatar. Accord­ing to Open Secrets, the total amount of Qatari gov­ern­men­tal spend­ing on US lob­by­ing has amount­ed to at least $3.3 mil­lion in 2022 to date.

In March, US media report­ed that Qatar hired Beck­er & Poli­akoff to pur­sue an influ­ence cam­paign tar­get­ing US Repub­li­cans, not­ing that Qatar “is look­ing to cap­i­tal­ize on the chill­i­er US-Sau­di Ara­bia rela­tion­ship since Biden has been in pow­er.” Accord­ing to a report by Intel­li­gence Online:

March 22, 2022 The Qatari embassy in Wash­ing­ton reg­is­tered Omar Fran­co and Chris Berar­di­ni of the law firm Beck­er & Poli­akoff on the Depart­ment of Jus­tice’s list of for­eign agents in March, as Doha push­es for­ward with its efforts to recon­nect with Repub­li­can rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Con­gress. […] The Qatari embassy in Wash­ing­ton has hired the ser­vices of no few­er than nine con­sult­ing firms since Joe Biden moved into the White House in Jan­u­ary 2021. […] Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is look­ing to cap­i­talise on the chill­i­er US-Sau­di Ara­bia rela­tion­ship since Biden has been in pow­er (IO, 10/03/21). Qatar has reg­ist­ed 24 of its 34 lob­by­ists with the DoJ since 2017. In June of that year, Sau­di Ara­bia, the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates, Bahrain and Egypt all received Trump’s seal of approval (IO, 07/06/17). Qatar has dou­bled its expen­di­ture on Wash­ing­ton lob­by­ists since then, to a total of close to $10m a year. Doha’s aim is to replace Riyad or Abu Dhabi as Wash­ing­ton’s priv­i­leged part­ner in the Mid­dle East, a diplo­mat­ic game that is play­ing out while the war in Ukraine is at its height

Read the rest here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report has exten­sive­ly report­ed on Qatar’s grow­ing lob­by­ing efforts in the US.


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