The United States, like most countries in the world, bans political campaign donations by non-citizens. Since the Supreme Court case of Citizens United v. FEC, however, foreigners—including even foreign governments—have been able to evade the law by donating to trade associations. Unlike other campaign committees, including labor unions and Super PACs, which must disclose the names of their contributors on a monthly or quarterly basis, trade associations face no such rules, and thus are able to influence elections using corporate and foreign money. As a result, in 2010, trade associations and related issue-advocacy groups outspent Super PACs $141 million to $65 million, according to the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Responsive Politics.
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