Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has appointed Amber Cottle as its new vice president of worldwide government affairs, reports Politico. The company has been looking for a new lobbyist since September 2013 after Catherine Novelli moved to the State Department. Cottle will now handle government affairs in Washington as Apple tries to grow its influence on Capitol Hill.
Apple needs to get cozy with the Washington
Before joining Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Cottle served as a Senate Finance Committee staffer for more than five years. In 2012, chairman Max Baucus named her the Democratic Staff Director. She has also worked as the Senate Finance Committee’s Chief International Trade Counsel. Apple hasn’t been focused on lobbying efforts in Washington. The tech giant hired a lobbying firm in 2011, but its spending on lobbying has been pretty small compared to many other tech companies.
But now Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) needs to get cozy with the government. The iPhone maker is reportedly planning to enter the highly-regulated medical devices market with iWatch. The company will need to get approvals from the USFDA. Apple also need to build a solid presence in Washington D.C. as the U.S. government continues to reform NSA spying tactics.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s growing interest in politicking is also due to the company’s offbeat tax strategy, which the U.S. Congress has called exploitative. Despite being a U.S. company, Apple keeps most of its cash outside the country to avoid taxes. Even profits generated in international markets like Australia are diverted to Ireland to avoid paying taxes.
Apple still doesn’t spend much on lobbying
According to Politico, the tech giant spent only $2 million in lobbying efforts in 2012, and $3.3 million in 2013. In contrast, other tech companies aggressively spend much more money in Washington. According to Reuters, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) spent $8 million, and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) poured $16.5 million on lobbying efforts in 2012.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares rose 0.24% to $540.48 in pre-market trading Tuesday.