Foreign lobbying enforcement ‘lax’

Loopholes range from lobbyists who are “promoting policies that are not intended to conflict with any existing U.S. domestic or foreign policies,” if the informational materials are “’believed’ by them ‘to be truthful and accurate,’” or the lobbyist is representing the “government of a foreign country the defense of which the President deems vital to the defense of the United States.” 

These contracts can also be more lucrative than LDA fees, netting firms anywhere from a couple thousand dollars to upwards of $120,000 per month. Some FARA contracts are not specifically focused on lobbying lawmakers, and aim to provide PR services or increase business and tourism to other nations. 

“Lobbyists working on behalf of foreign clients occupy a significant, but often overlooked, portion of the U.S. lobbying marketplace,” the POGO report says. Foreign lobbying became a half a billion industry in 2012, making up more than $1 of every $7 spent on registered advocacy that year.

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