Tim Cook and Apple have had a very public relationship with President Trump during his term thus far. Cook has had several meetings with Trump and various members of his administration, and new numbers revealed late last night show that Apple has spent a record amount of money lobbying Trump…
As reported by Recode, Apple spent $2.2 million between April 1st and June 30th lobbying Trump. That number is nearly double the amount the company spent lobbying President Obama during the same period last year, during which it spent $1.2 million. Apple says that most of the $2.2 million has gone to lobbying for tax, surveillance, and immigration reform.
During Trump’s first three months in the White House, Apple spent around $1.4 million on lobbying, making for a grand total of $3.6 million during his first six months as president. The jump in spending is a change of pace for Apple, who spent around $730,000 lobbying President Obama during his first six months in 2009.
The company specifically outlined in its filing that a strong focus of its lobbying has been for immigration. Tim Cook has directly confronted Trump on the issue several times, while he’s publicly opposed efforts to limit immigration from select countries.
In addition to immigration, Apple’s government filing indicates lobbying for climate change, patent reform, accessibility, health initiatives, diversity, and education. Apple has publicly expressed its view points on such issues in the past.
For comparison’s sake, Google spent nearly $5.4 million lobbying Trump during the same period, whereas Amazon spent $3.2 million and Facebook $2.3 million.
Many have criticized the growing number of political stances taken by Apple and Tim Cook recently. Cook believes, however, that it’s better to express viewpoints than it is to sit on the sidelines:
“Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be. The way that you influence these issues is to be in the arena. And we engage when we agree and we engage when we disagree. I think it’s very important to do that because you don’t change things by just yelling. You change things by showing everyone why your way is the best. In many ways, it’s a debate of ideas.”
Apple’s full, government required, lobby filing can be found here on the Senate website.