As Taiwan looks to negotiate a new peaceful nuclear power pact with the United States, the island nation has called on Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman for assistance in Washington.
Pillsbury notified Congress this week that it is lobbying for state-owned Taiwan Power Co. on a new Atomic Energy Act cooperation agreement between Taiwan's Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office and the American Institute of Taiwan, a nonprofit D.C. corporation. Without an official diplomatic relationship between the United States and Taiwan, the organizations serve as de facto embassies. (The United States recognizes the Beijing-based government of the People's Republic of China's position that Taiwan is part of China even though the island doesn't acknowledge that government.)
Taiwan's current nuclear power pact with the United States is set to expire in 2014. As part of the new agreement, the island is planning to give up its right to produce nuclear fuel, becoming the second country after the United Arab Emirates to do so, Global Security Newswire reported in July. Taiwan would import fuel from abroad to operate its six nuclear power plants, which, according to Taiwan Power, supplied 19 percent of the country's electricity in 2011.
Taiwan Power isn't the only foreign client that Pillsbury is helping with peaceful atomic energy. Pillsbury is assisting Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy with the development of its civilian nuclear power program, and South Korea in its negotiations for a new Atomic Energy Act cooperation agreement with the United States.
The firm has lobbied for Taiwan before, according to congressional records. From 2010 to 2011, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office had former Representative Greg Laughlin (R-Texas), a senior counsel at the firm, encourage members of Congress to visit Taiwan. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office paid Pillsbury $110,000 for its help during that period.