Citizens United and Chinese Companies: All in a Day’s Work

Yesterday, Elizabeth Lynch of the China Law & Policy Blog, testified before the United States Congress on “potential foreign government influence in our elections post-Citizens United.” Elizabeth writes about her testimony in Congressional Testimony of China Law & Policy – With Link to full Webcast.

Elizabeth got the call to testify after having written an article for the Huffington Post, entitled, Citizens United: U.S. Politics with Chinese Characteristics, in which she talked about how an essentially uncountable number of what constitute US companies are wholly owned by foreigners and how these companies are well positioned to influence U.S. elections.

Now for the best part. In her testimony before Congress, Elizabeth mentioned me:

As the world becomes more interconnected and brands in other countries become more global, the number of U.S. subsidiaries with a foreign parent corporation will only increase. Noted international lawyer Dan Harris, of Harris Bricken in Seattle, believes that the current number is substantial. In just looking at China he remarked, ―My small firm represents a number of U.S. companies that are wholly-owned by Chinese companies or by Chinese citizens and that convinces me there must be thousands of such companies in the U.S.

Thank you Elizabeth!

In just the last few months, my law firm’s work on forming US business entities (corporations and limited liability companies) for foreigners has shot through the roof. Foreign companies view the United States as a safe harbor during uncertain times and our incoming U.S. company formation practice has taken off because of this. In particular, we are seeing a big increase in companies from Venezuela (thank you Hugo Chavez) and from Russia seeking to diversify their risks by having a United States company with which they can conduct their international business. I have no reason to believe these entities come to the United States with a desire to impact U.S. politics, but I am fascinated with the idea that they might.

Your thoughts?

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