Bharti Walmart has denied reports that the retail giant pressed U.S. lawmakers to help gain access to foreign markets.
Here’s the full text of the response:
The allegation that a routine US lobbying disclosure form reflects improper conduct on our part in India is false. This disclosure has nothing to do with political or governmental contacts with India Government officials. It shows that our business interest in India was discussed with U.S. Government officials—along with 50 or more other topics during a 3 month period.
Under U.S. law, on a quarterly basis, all companies which meet certain time and expenses thresholds, are required to disclose issues and expenditures spent in connection with contacts with the United States Government, including staffing cost, association dues, and payments to consultants.
This is not unique to Walmart. All organizations which expend more than $11,500 annually on lobbying activities and employ at least one lobbyist must register and file the quarterly reports. In the third quarter of 2012, lobbyists and companies filed thousands of forms. Per a Washington D.C. publication, Roll Call, in the first quarter of this year, 143 organizations reported expenses of more than $1 million
Our Washington office naturally had discussions with U.S. Government officials about a range of trade and investment issues that impact our businesses in the U.S. and worldwide and disclosed this in accordance with the law.