Foreign Agent Contacts

Gao ID: GGD-93-32R April 2, 1993

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the extent of contacts between U.S. trade officials and former high-level officials representing foreign interests. GAO noted that: (1) there was a range of contacts between 19 former high-level officials and senior Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) officials at all levels; (2) the number of officials identified on foreign agent registrations was lower than the number of former high-level officials representing foreign interests; (3) the current Deputy of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the Assistant USTR for North American Affairs did not keep a record of telephone contacts; (4) the former Deputy USTR telephone log and appointment calendar has been discarded; (5) 12 of the 19 selected Foreign Agents Registration Act registrants had contacts with OUSTR officials; and (6) proposed legislation would broaden the existing disclosure statutes to ensure registration of professional lobbyists, streamline disclosure requirements to make sure that only meaningful information is disclosed, and create a new, more effective and equitable system for administering and enforcing these requirements.

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