With the U.S. Congress debating a bill that would impose tariffs on China for undervaluing the yuan, the Chinese government has launched an unprecedented lobbying effort to influence U.S. policy, Reuters reports:
A 12-member “Congressional Liaison Team” inside the Chinese embassy has been meeting with aides to key lawmakers, making phone calls to congressional offices and speaking to the White House on the issue, according to Chinese and U.S. officials.
The Chinese embassy has also been paying a blue chip Washington law firm $35,000 a month to lobby Congress on its behalf and to provide China with a greater understanding of congressional politics.
The effort reflects how sophisticated China’s lobbying in Washington has become. Just 10 years ago China routinely ignored Congress, with some of its officials believing the Senate and House of Representatives were mere mouthpieces for the executive branch.
And Beijing’s rare attempts to influence U.S. politics were clumsy and ill-informed, officials say.
Read more about the China currency bill via CDT. See also: “Fast Enough? China’s Currency Record” and “The Kind of Chinese Currency Manipulation the U.S. Likes” from the Wall Street Journal blog