US: Old hands hold hands with Beijing on trade policy
Big bucks and big names are proving to be corporate
Henry A. Kissinger, secretary of state in the Nixon and Ford administrations and longtime adviser to major American businesses in
Alexander M. Haig Jr., former secretary of state under President Reagan, also is advising both American companies and the Chinese government's maritime shipping company in the campaign.
Both former Cabinet secretaries have received lucrative fees as deal-makers for business clients with ventures in
The multimillion-dollar business campaign to retain China's most-favored-nation trading status and get China into the World Trade Organization strains the limits of lobbying disclosure laws and possibly violates the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), according to Justice Department officials.
Mr. Kissinger and Mr. Haig are not registered with the department as foreign agents, even though the law requires registration and disclosure of activities and compensation by
The Justice Department would not say whether a review had been conducted to determine whether Mr. Kissinger and Mr. Haig or their associates have violated the FARA.
Like many prominent Americans advocating enhanced U.S.-China trade ties, Mr. Kissinger's consulting firm maintains that it does not work directly for the Chinese government or Chinese business interests, but advises
The two men did not respond to inquiries by The Washington Times, but Mr. Haig told the New Republic in a recent article: "I have business dealings all over the world, including my own country, and I don't think that deprives me of the ability to make judgments on international affairs, which I spent a good part of my life involved in."
Mr. Kissinger, who travels frequently to
Mr. Kissinger also has advised the Indonesia Lippo Group, linked to the Democratic fund-raising scandal, and was in
Known as "Mr.
1989 Tiananmen Square
In February 1995, Mr. Kissinger personally admonished House Speaker Newt Gingrich after the Georgia Republican, on a visit to
The $26 billion American International Group, a major Kissinger client with offices in
Just today, Vice President Al Gore was on hand in
Mr. Haig, adviser to United Technologies, another backer of the lobbying effort, has performed a similar deal-making role in
Mr. Haig helped United Technologies, a
Mr. Haig, who also served as White House chief of staff for President Nixon, is now in
Mr. Haig was unavailable for comment. A spokeswoman in his
Lobbyists for the companies have been holding secret weekly strategy meetings since revelations of the Asian fund-raising scandal and reports that former Democratic Party fund-raiser John Huang sought China's help to pump campaign cash into the Clinton-Gore re-election effort, said aides of coalition Executive Director Calman J. Cohen, a former counsel at the U.S. Trade Representative's Office.
A separate $750,000-a-year grass-roots public relations campaign to boost
"This is not a Washington-centric effort," said Daniel Leonard of Edelman.
The companies have formed a U.S.-China Education Foundation to prepare advocacy materials and set up community groups to bolster commercial relations with
In the l995-96 election cycle, law firms hired to represent
- Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, a
law firm registered as the Chinese Embassy's foreign agent, gave $108,168 to candidates from both parties. Rep. Jane Harman, California Democrat on the House National Security and Intelligence committees, received $13,300 in 28 separate contributions from different Jones Day lawyer-lobbyists. Mrs. Harman represents Cleveland , which boasts a high concentration of Chinese immigrants, who were targeted by Mr. Huang and other Democratic fund-raisers. Torrance, Calif.
- Dorsey & Whitney, a
firm representing the China Chamber of Commerce for Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers and Exporters, gave $56,263, mostly to Democrats, in 110 separate contributions. Washington
- Hogan & Hartson, a
firm representing the U.S.-China Business Council, a coalition of American corporations and trade associations with business interests in Washington , gave $339,824 in 457 contributions to candidates and campaign committees of both parties. China