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29 Jan, 2017 12:23

Trump imposes lifetime ban on foreign govt lobbying for appointees

Trump imposes lifetime ban on foreign govt lobbying for appointees

As part of his promise to ‘drain the swamp’ US President Donald Trump has signed an ‘ethics commitments’ executive order restricting his administration officials from working as lobbyists after they leave government.

The order bans his appointees from lobbying any government official for two years and the agency they worked in for five years. It also prevents them from ever lobbying the US on behalf of a foreign government or foreign political parties.

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The order is "solely enforceable by the United States by any legally available means." Anyone found violating the ban could be barred from lobbying their former agency for up to another five years, on top of the five-year period covered by the order.

The order also states that Trump, or his designee, may also grant “to any person a waiver of any of restrictions contained in the pledge.”

A huge focus of Trump’s election campaign was his promise to tackle Washington insiders.  His pledge to "drain the swamp" became a hugely popular chant at his rallies. The executive order is an effort to deliver on those promises however it’s far from certain that it will be effective.

It’s already common for former officials to find ways to use their influence without registering as lobbyists. Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, former officials can avoid registering as lobbyists if they spend less than 20 percent of their time in meetings with government officials or preparing for them.