The Department of Justice (“DOJ” or “The Department”) recently released a letter, sent to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and a bipartisan group of Senators a few weeks ago, in which DOJ expressed support for eliminating the Lobbying Disclosure Act (“LDA”) registration exemption to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”). This is a striking and notable development that could have significant implications for U.S. companies with foreign parents or foreign affiliates. A repeal of the LDA exemption would dramatically expand the scope of FARA, reversing Congress’s decision in the 1990s to place foreign commercial lobbying under the LDA rather than FARA. Without the LDA exemption, U.S. subsidiaries of companies based around the world would likely be forced to report their lobbying activity under FARA, as we have written before.
In this client alert, we highlight some of the key areas addressed in the Department’s letter.