Public Policy Advocacy

Apple engages in policy discussions where they matter to our business and customers, in areas including privacy, intellectual property, and the environment. We strive to help policy makers at every level of government understand our products, our innovations, and our business.

This page describes how Apple participates in public debate in the United States through direct and indirect advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels.

Oversight

We carefully manage our engagement in the public policy process and have internal teams that coordinate those efforts. Strategic decisions about advocacy are made at the highest levels, including Apple’s Executive Team and CEO Tim Cook. All public policy expenditures are reported to the Apple Board of Directors and reviewed annually by the Audit and Finance Committee of the Board.

Political Contributions

Apple does not make political contributions to individual candidates or parties, and we do not have a political action committee (PAC).

We occasionally make contributions for ballot measures and initiatives. For example, we contributed to an initiative in support of public schools in Apple’s hometown of Cupertino, California. Each of these contributions is approved by CEO Tim Cook and promptly reported on the Apple website. We provide a complete history of contributions made by Apple since January 1, 2012, on the Investor Relations page.

You can see a complete contribution history since January 1, 2012.

Direct Advocacy

Apple’s government affairs group engages with government officials and policy makers at the federal, state, and local levels on legislation, regulations, and policies that affect us. In addition to advocacy by Apple employees, Apple retains outside consultants to support our engagement with government officials and policy makers.

Federal, state, and local lobbying regulations may require entities and individuals who engage in public policy advocacy to register and disclose relevant activities and expenditures. Some procurement lobbying efforts also require registration and disclosure. Apple complies with all such regulations.

In 2015, Apple used registered advocates at the federal level and in 40 states. Disclosure reports are available to the public and, in most cases, posted on government websites. Federal disclosure reports for Apple and its consultants can be found in the U.S. Senate lobbying disclosure database.

Advocacy by State

See states where Apple, Apple employees, or outside consultants were registered in 2015. Click through to the government disclosure sites for each state and follow the instructions from each state’s website. Use the search term “Apple Inc.” to view Apple filings.

Indirect Advocacy

In addition to direct engagement with government officials and policy makers, Apple belongs to trade associations and organizations that are focused on issues that affect us. These organizations operate on national, state, and local levels. Many of them are composed of technology companies or companies linked by region or a specific focus.

These organizations serve to advance the common goals and interests of member companies and their customers. For example, Apple belongs to organizations that work to ensure consistent product standards and promote strong intellectual property protections.

Apple’s government affairs group regularly engages with these trade associations and organizations and reevaluates our association memberships annually to make sure that the groups we belong to represent Apple’s core interests. The company’s membership and participation in these organizations is also reported to Apple’s Board of Directors and reviewed annually by the Audit and Finance Committee of the Board.

Many of these organizations engage in advocacy activities for their members and must comply with applicable registration and disclosure laws. U.S. trade associations are generally required under federal law to report to their members the portion of payments used for lobbying, as defined by section 162(e) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. We report all such expenditures in our federal disclosure reports.

Apple does not allow its trade association dues to be used for political contributions.

Apple belonged to the following trade associations in 2015 through its government affairs group: