The Foreign Agents Registration Act: Risks & Implications for U.S. Business Leaders in Thailand

The Foreign Agents Registration Act: Risks & Implications for U.S. Business Leaders in Thailand

On October 15, to over 25 registrants, AMCHAM’s Legal Committee hosted The Foreign Agents Registration Act: Risks & Implications for U.S. Business Leaders in Thailand over webinar. The event was opened by Executive Director Heidi Gallant where she introduced the Committee’s special guest speaker, Joshua Rosenstein, Esq. Rosenstein's practices includes lobbyist regulations; FARA requirements; government ethics; and non-profit law, and designs in-depth compliance programs to guide entities and their clients through complicated lobbying-related regulations.  He previously served as in-house general counsel of one of the nation's largest lobbying, communications, and consulting firms.  Joshua joined the video conference from Washington, D.C. He was recently quoted in a Rolling Stone article regarding a fundraiser for the Trump campaign.

Joshua discussed why enforcement of this 80-year Act is being intensified in the current political environment, and how doing business in the U.S. for foreign clients could potentially lead to a criminal violation. He started off his presentation with a brief history of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and its applications. Joshua sited its antiquity as a current issue with the law, “It was made before the internet,” said Joshua as he explained that the act’s application to e-mail and other digital media. He stated that it would behoove companies to companies to speak to competent counsel to fully examine any exemptions to FARA as the process can be complicated. Some companies have been caught unaware that FARA requires foreign agents to keep a record of registration processes for the past three years. He finished his presentation with a list of violations that can occur.

Committee Co-Chair, Christopher Knight, moderated the question and answer portion of the event. Attendees were able to anonymously ask questions to receive the attorney’s advice. A PDF of the presentation is available on the AMCHAM member portal.

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