Lobbying

Bottom Line: Tomato industry group hires former USDA deputy as Mexican ‘dumping’ dispute ripens 

Trade

The ​Florida Tomato Exchange hired Cordone Consulting to lobby on the termination of the 2019 U.S.-Mexico Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes. The ​trade association, which represents tomato growers and packers in the Sunshine State, filed a request with the Commerce Department earlier this summer to end the agreement. The group alleged the agreement hasn’t stopped Mexico from “dumping” tomatoes into the U.S. market at a lower price than their own and urged the department to impose antidumping duties. Jonathan Cordone, former deputy undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services at the Department of Agriculture, will work on the account.

Credit Cards

Visa hired Forbes Tate to lobby on payment card issues including the Credit Card Competition Act, Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) bill to break up the credit card network market that’s increasingly irking retail industry giants. Visa and Mastercard — which also recently lobbied up — control a combined 80 percent of the credit card network market. The credit card companies argue the bill’s attempts to infuse competition into the industry would compromise popular rewards programs. Jeff Forbes, former staff director of the Senate Finance Committee, will work on the account.

Pharmaceuticals

​Currax Pharmaceuticals hired DLA Piper to lobby on issues related to obesity treatments, including the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act. The bill would expand Medicare coverage to weight loss drugs such as the company’s FDA-approved CONTRAVE. Other pharmaceutical companies including Novo Nordisk, the Danish drugmaker behind Wegovy and Ozempic, have been pushing to reverse a decades-long ban on the coverage of weight loss drugs. One of the lobbyists on the account is former Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-Pa.), previously a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who worked extensively on health care issues.

Streaming

The ​Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition hired Subject Matter to lobby on issues related to “consumer choice and innovation” in streaming services. The coalition of streaming giants, which launched at the end of July and includes ABC, Paramount, FOX and Fubo, is opposing a push by local broadcast station owners to change Federal Communications Commission rules governing the way individual broadcasters redistribute programming. Cedric Grant, former chief of staff to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), will work on the account.

Nuclear

​Radiant Industries hired Alpine Group Partners to sell members of Congress on nuclear microreactors, which the company develops and manufactures. The Alpine Group will also lobby on issues related to the federal budget, including congressional appropriations for the Department of Defense and Energy Department. Former House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, a Republican who represented Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District from 1999-2021, will work on the account.

Tags Dick Durbin Dick Durbin Greg Walden Greg Walden Hakeem Jeffries Hakeem Jeffries Hakeem Jeffries Jim Greenwood jim greenwood mastercard MasterCard visa Visa

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