Apple ramped up its lobbying spend in 2017, shelling out $7 million to battle many of the regulations and proposed new laws issued by the Trump administration.
Under Tim Cook, amount spent by Apple on lobbying efforts has more than doubled. However, while last year’s figure was a personal record for the company, it is less than many other big tech giants spent. During the same period, Google spent $18 million on lobbying efforts, while Amazon spent $12.8 million, and Facebook spent $11.5 million.
In total, tech companies spent $50 million battling with President Trump.
Apple fought legislation throughout the year relating to encryption and immigration. At the start of 2017, the company took exception to Trump’s controversial executive order temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, as well as halting all immigration for 120 days.
The company has also taken issue with plans to end DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program intended to protect the rights of individuals brought illegally to the U.S. while still minors. Most recently, it teamed with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other tech companies to protest the possible abandonment of a program that allows the spouses of high-skilled immigrants to work in the U.S. while they are in the process of seeking permanent residence.
In all these cases, Apple has made a moral argument — but also argued that it will make it harder for companies to employ high-skilled individuals from around the world.
Recently, Apple benefitted from a new tax reform signed into law by President Trump. Shortly following the new tax law, Apple told employees today that it plans to give all employees $2,500 worth of restricted stock. Trump applauded Apple’s moves on Twitter, saying “Great to see Apple follow through as a result of TAX CUTS. Huge win for American workers and the USA!”