The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) exempts foreign commercial entities who have registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (LDA) from registering with the US Department of Justice (DOJ). However, if the lobbying efforts of these entities benefit a foreign power they are required to be registered under FARA, not LDA. This paper will demonstrate that foreign entities—potentially hundreds—are likely exploiting the LDA exemption to circumvent FARA requirements and obfuscate foreign lobbying efforts. This examination will reveal which foreign commercial entities are exploiting the LDA exemption, deepening the capabilities of academic researchers to explore the threat of foreign influence and unveil efforts to destabilize democracies, in the United States and beyond.
Works Cited for the Working Paper
Compiled FARA Annual Spending Data
LDA Foreign Client Data 2016-2019*