Arnold & Porter Extends Lobbying Contract For Turkey On F-35 Aircraft Program

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Arnold & Porter Legal Offices in Washington, DC REUTERS / Andrew Kelly

  • Law firm’s $ 1.5 million contract extends previous engagement
  • Turkey was pulled from jet program in 2019 after purchasing Russian-made radar system

(Reuters) – Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer has extended a lobbying contract with Turkey for a year over its participation in a US F-35 fighter jet program, according to recently leaked US Department of Justice documents.

$ 1.5 million from Arnold & Porter Contract for “strategic advice and legal advisory services” was disclosed on September 20 and runs until August 2022.

The Washington, DC-based law firm publicly submitted its contract under the Federal Foreign Agent Registration Act, which requires law firms, lobbyists and public relations professionals to disclose certain commitments with foreign clients who go beyond litigation services.

Turkey first hired Arnold & Porter in February for six months to push for readmission to the fighter modernization program after the Trump administration suspended the country’s participation. Turkey was removed from the program in 2109 by the US Department of Defense after purchasing a Russian missile defense system.

In March, Turkey’s defense industry chief said the country was not necessarily looking to join the jet program, but had instead set itself a primary goal of compensating for losses.

Arnold & Porter partner Raul Herrera and L. Charles Landgraf, a senior lawyer, did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Wednesday. Representatives from Turkey who work with Arnold & Porter were not immediately contacted for comment.

The lobbying contract requires Arnold & Porter to “advise on a strategy” for Turkey “to remain in the Joint Strike Fighter program” while “taking into account and addressing the complex geopolitical and commercial factors at play”.

Arnold & Porter said it would “undertake targeted outreach to US business partners and stakeholders” as part of the program to “probe and understand their interests” in “Turkey’s continued involvement as a strategic ally and valuable partner “.

The other international partners of the F-35 program are the United Kingdom and Canada.

A report released in July by the U.S. Government Accountability Office said the F-35 program had been “delayed by more than 8 years and by $ 165 billion more than originally anticipated. origin at this stage ”. More than 600 planes have been delivered under the program “to US services, allied partners and foreign military commercial customers,” the report said.

Arnold & Porter has a long-standing lobbying relationship with Turkey, according to federal records. The company lobbied for other international clients, including El Salvador, Israel’s Ministry of Finance, Korea’s Ministry of Commerce, Argentina, Honduras and Venezuela.

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