Apple Pumping More Money Into Lobbying
Apple has never had much of a profile inside the Beltway. It shuttered its big government affairs office in Washington, D.C., in the late ’90s and since that time hasn’t had much of a presence in the nation’s capital.
That’s not a massive lobbying expenditure; certainly it pales in comparison to those of rivals like Google and Microsoft, which doled out $18 million and $8 million, respectively. But it’s high for Apple, which a decade ago spent a little more than half a million dollars on lobbying. And it reflects a renewed effort to make its voice heard by D.C. policymakers, one that began in early 2011 with the hiring of Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock, a formidable lobbying firm with a number of executives who did stints in the Bush administration and the Republican National Committee.
Not at all surprising, given Apple CEO Tim Cook’s calls this week for a “dramatic simplification” of U.S. tax code that should eliminate corporate tax expenditures, lower overall tax rates, and make it easier to repatriate funds from overseas. If Apple truly wants a corporate tax rate in the “mid-20s” and a single-digit repatriation rate, as Cook said, it’s going to have to fight for them in Washington.