Huawei paid longtime Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta $500,000 from July through September to lobby the White House, according to a lobbying disclosure filed Wednesday evening.
The embattled Chinese telecom is pushing President BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE to undo a Trump administration order that bars it from doing business with American companies, including key partners such as Google, Qualcomm and Intel. U.S. officials have accused Huawei of using its technology to spy on Americans on behalf of Beijing, an allegation it denies.
Huawei’s lobbying also centered around securing the release of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was being held in Canada on U.S. fraud charges. Late last month, the Justice Department allowed Meng to return to China as part of a deferred prosecution agreement, a decision that Biden officials have said didn’t involve the White House.
Overall, Huawei spent nearly $1.4 million on federal lobbying in the third quarter of 2021, according to lobbying disclosures filed with Congress. That’s up from just $100,000 during the same period last year and less than $1.1 million in the second quarter.
Huawei was hopeful that Trump’s election loss would provide relief for the firm, which has suffered huge losses over the U.S. ban. But Biden administration officials have repeatedly indicated that they will not lift restrictions on the Chinese firm.
“President Biden and this administration believe digital infrastructure equipment made by untrustworthy vendors, like Huawei, pose a threat to the security of the U.S., our allies, and our partners. Export controls against Huawei remain in place,” a White House official told CNBC, which first reported the lobbying disclosure Thursday.
A spokesperson for Huawei declined to comment on its lobbying efforts.
Podesta, once one of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington and the brother of former Obama administration official John PodestaJohn PodestaSpecialty sites and corporate hypocrisy: Journalism worth paying attention to Durham's latest indictment: More lines drawn to Clinton's campaign Huawei paid Tony Podesta 0K for White House lobbying MORE, made his return to politics this year after an extended hiatus. His firm disbanded in 2017 amid federal scrutiny over its work with former Trump campaign adviser Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Yellen should utilize the resources available before pushing new regulations Huawei paid Tony Podesta 0K for White House lobbying MORE.
In his Huawei lobbying disclosure, Podesta reported lobbying the White House on “issues related to telecommunication services and impacted trade issues.”