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Apple has spent a record high $2.2 million lobbying President Donald Trump and the U.S. Federal Government over the past three months, according to newly published federal records.
It’s the most amount of money that Apple has spent on lobbying thus far, about double the amount the company spent in the same period last year — between April 1 and June 30. And it breaks Cupertino’s previous record, which was set during the first three months of President Trump’s term. In total, Apple has spent a grand total of $3.6 million lobbying the current administration and federal government this year.
Cupertino’s efforts to shape federal policy in the last six months has focused on other issues as well, including patent reform, workplace diversity, music licensing, corporate tax reform, accessibility, privacy, education and regulations concerning mobile medical apps, according to the latest disclosure form published by the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. The rise in Apple’s lobbying expenditures shouldn’t come as a surprise, however. Apple has had trouble with a number of Trump-introduced policies, including the president’s immigration ban and decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. In the wake of both those events, Apple strongly denounced the policies.
Immigration specifically seems to be a sore point between the president and Apple, with reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook directly confronted Trump about it during a private White House reception last month. “There are clearly areas where we’re not nearly on the same page,” Cook recently told Bloomberg Businessweek. “We’re dramatically different.” But despite the disagreement between the tech giant and the current administration, Cook has, thus far, expressed willingness to work with Trump.
Overall, during the past decade, Apple has incrementally increased its lobbying budget. Under the Bush administration’s last year in 2007, the company spent about $1.3 million total, in comparison to a sum of $4.7 million spent last year. With this year’s total already amounting to $3.6 million in the first six months, Apple looks poised to break that record in 2017. Additionally, Apple has never increased its lobbying expenditures more than $330,000 from one quarter to the next — until now.
While Apple has bumped up its lobbying in recent months, it’s not the only tech giant to do so. Amazon and Google too spent record totals to shape federal policy this year. In fact, Google still retains its position as the biggest lobbying spender — the Mountain View-based company has spent almost $5.4 million on lobbying in just the second quarter of 2017, Recode reported. Like Apple, Google and Amazon have publically denounced Trump’s immigration and climate change policies. But while the tech giants have openly quarreled with the president over certain issues, there are areas in which Washington and Silicon Valley agree, including tax and infrastructure reform.