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Panama Nabs Additional K Street Help

The government of Panama, hoping to win Congressional approval for a free-trade agreement with the United States, has hired a new team of lobbyists from Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti to press its case on Capitol Hill.

The team includes Democratic lobbyists David Castagnetti, Kelly Bingel, David Thomas and Jonathan Hoganson and GOP lobbyists Alex Vogel and Bruce Mehlman.

“We are very pleased to have MVC join our team,” Mario Jaramillo, Panama’s ambassador to the U.S., said in an emailed statement. “They bring solid bipartisan credentials to our government relations efforts.”

The country already has on retainer the public affairs firm HDMK, whose partner Terry Holt is close with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

This client marks the first time that Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti will become a registered foreign agent through the Department of Justice. The disclosure filing, however, is not yet available online. Mehlman Vogel declined comment.

Congress may consider the trade deal in the coming weeks.