Stopping Political Spending by Foreign-Influenced U.S. Corporations

May 03, 2022 | by
  • Description

Laws are needed to prevent American-based corporations with appreciable levels of foreign ownership from spending money from their corporate treasuries to sway U.S. elections or ballot initiatives. As discussed in a 2019 Center for American Progress report, a U.S. corporation should be deemed "foreign influenced" and prohibited from election and ballot-related spending if the corporation meets one of the following criteria:

  • A single foreign shareholder owns or controls 1 percent or more of the corporation's equity.
  • Multiple foreign shareholders own or control—in the aggregate—5 percent or more of the corporation's equity.
  • Any foreign entity participates in the corporation's decision-making process about election-related spending in the United States.

This fact sheet discusses the ongoing problem of political spending by foreign-influenced U.S. corporations and emphasizes the need for lawmakers to establish foreign-ownership thresholds such as those listed above to limit such spending.