Lobbying by Proxy: A Study of China’s Lobbying Practices in the United States 1979-2010 and the Implications for FARA

Wagreich, Samuel

It might come as a surprise that right along with the tobacco industry, the conservative Christian right, the pro-choice left, and a multitude of other social interest groups and corporations, the People's Republic of China often spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year lobbying the United States Congress. It might come as an even bigger surprise that, in the past, some of America's most iconic companies, such as Boeing, Caterpillar, General Motors, and General Electric, have spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying for pro-China trade legislation. This thesis serves as a study of the People's Republic of lobbying activity during the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, with a focus on the advocacy methods utilized by the Chinese to lobby the U.S. government as well as these corporate interests that have continually weighed in on China's behalf. Its primary purpose is to elucidate the significant role that both American multinational corporations and Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have played in China's lobbying efforts in order to demonstrate the extent to which the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) database—”the main foreign lobbying transparency infrastructure”—has failed to adequately record the amount of wealth and resources these interests have put into backing pro-Chinese legislation.


Also Published In

The Journal of Politics and Society

More About This Work

Academic Units
Helvidius Group
Helvidius Group of Columbia University
Published Here
February 10, 2014