Washington, D.C.—ThinkProgress today released more exclusive details in its ongoing investigation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s foreign funding—details standing in direct contradiction to the Chamber’s previous assertions about the size, scope, and nature of its foreign funding. The ThinkProgress investigation has now documented more than 80 foreign corporations that have contributed at least $885,000 directly to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 501(c)(6) entity—the same Chamber entity funding its $75 million attack ad campaign.
- At least $885,000 in documented foreign funding: ThinkProgress has nowuncovered documents from the Chamber’s U.S.-India and U.S.-Bahrain Business Councils indicating at least $885,000 in direct contributions from foreign corporations to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6). This total is nearly triple the amount of foreign funding ThinkProgress initially uncovered last week. This information—posted on the Chamber’s own websites—stands in direct contradiction to the Chamber’s claim that its foreign funding is limited to $100,000 in indirect contributions from so-called “AmChams” or American Chambers of Commerce abroad.
- Direct funding from over 80 foreign companies: ThinkProgress has now documented direct contributions to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6) entity from over from 80 foreign corporations.
A number of key questions remain unanswered in the wake of this new report. The Chamber operates similar “business councils,” which are merely programs administered directly from the Chamber’s H Street headquarters in Washington, D.C., in Egypt, Brazil, Korea, and other foreign countries. It remains unknown how much in direct contributions from foreign companies these other programs bring in to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6) entity. It also remains unknown exactly how many additional foreign corporations are simply members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and are directly funding its activities via annual dues payments and other contributions. The Chamber has variously asserted that this number is limited to a “relative handful” of its 300,000 or “probably 60 or so” such corporations, but has declined to elaborate or provide further details or documentation about its foreign members.
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