SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT HIRES LOBBYISTS FOR CAPITOL HILL
My friend's lobbying firm, Scribe Strategies & Advisors, got the first lobbying gig from the South Korean government:
On December 9, Korean Ambassador to the United States Lee Tae-sik sent a letter to the Budget and Account Committee of the National Assembly, Seoul. In his letter, Ambassador Lee called for a smooth allocation of the one-billion-won budget that the Embassy requested for lobbying the U.S. Congress next year. “We will focus on correcting our procurement system of U.S. weapons, which cost us more than Japan. We will also work on creating a favorable atmosphere for Korea’s joining of the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP) and concluding a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States,” said Lee, clarifying the specific goals of the lobbying.
The letter from Ambassador Lee seems to be a "record of resolutions" implying that it is "high time for Korea to open a new chapter in lobbying Washington in an open and legitimate manner." The Korean Embassy to the U.S. entered into a three-month pilot contract with a Washington-based lobbying agency Scribe Strategies and Advisors (SSA) from October through December to gauge the "possibility of lobbying diplomacy." According to a copy of the contract that Dong-A Ilbo obtained, the monthly payment to SSA is 10,000 dollars, which is tantamount to the actual expenses for a lobbying service.
The contract is considered Korea’s first legitimate lobbying campaign, for which the SSA will officially report to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as representatives of the Korean government. This means the Korean government has finally taken its first step onto K Street, the home of lobbying agencies in Washington. (full article)