Recent lobbying expenditure reports by the two largest Smartphone companies suggest that Apple and Samsung are increasing their lobbying spend at a rate higher than any of the previous years.
South Korea’s Samsung Group spent a record amount lobbying U.S. politicians and officials in 2017 to counter Washington’s growing protectionism and other negatives.
In a recent story published this week by yonhapnews.kr,
Samsung Group, the No. 1 family-controlled conglomerate in Asia’s fourth-largest economy, spent US$3.5 million lobbying lawmakers and government officials in Washington last year, according to local industry sources and the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), a non-profit, nonpartisan U.S. research group that tracks the effects of money and lobbying on elections and public policy.
Samsung Electronics took the lion share of this $3.5 million spend at $3.1 million. This is more than double of what Samsung spend in 2016, which was only $1.65 million dollars.
The increase in lobbying expenditure for Samsung comes at a time when the Trump administration is exploring various ways to re-engineer trade deals and create US jobs.
The money spent by Samsung pales in comparison to the lobbying expenditures reported by Apple in 2017.
According to records from OpenSecrets, Apple’s spending in 2017 hit a new record of $7 Million dollars, 50% more than what the company spent in 2016. The expenditures data come from Senate office of public records.
Overall, the Electronics manufacturing and Equip industry spend was pegged at $144 million in 2017, with Oracle taking the lead by spending $12.3 million dollars. Below, you will find the Top 12 companies ranked by their Lobbying spend in the industry. (Apple ranks 4th).
This uptick in lobbying expenditures comes at a time when the industry is looking for favorable concessions in the area of tax, regulatory oversight and a host of other challenges.
Apart from the direct lobbying expenditures, Silicon Valley companies have also recently been at the forefront of funding “thinktanks” that help these companies position their issues in Washington. New America Foundation is one of those think tanks that has seen a lot of support from Google over the years.
As we move into 2018, it will be interesting to see how companies such as Apple and Samsung shape the different trade conversations in Capital Hill to influence their business interests.