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Facebook, Google and others are focusing some D.C. lobbying dollars on fighting Trump

Plus, Apple starts lobbying on autonomous vehicles.

Trump Holds Summit With Technology Industry Leaders Drew Angerer / Getty

Tech giants like Facebook, Google and Microsoft focused some of their lobbying dollars in Washington over the past three months on combating President Donald Trump, as he eyed major changes to the U.S. tax code and imposed new restrictions on foreign immigrants.

Both issues feature prominently on many companies’ first-quarter lobbying reports, which were due to the government by midnight. In total, five of the industry’s biggest names — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft — spent a combined $13.3 million to influence regulators in the nation’s capital between Jan. 1 and March 31, records show.

Facebook specifically revealed it devoted a portion of its $3.2 million in spending during that period to fighting Trump’s executive order limiting travelers and refugees from some Muslim-majority countries. The social giant, like many in Silicon Valley, has blasted the order publicly and signed onto legal briefs challenging the administration’s actions.

Google, too, spent some of its $3.5 million in lobbying on “legislative responses” to Trump’s travel ban, according to the company’s newly filed report.

Apple, for its part, spent $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2017 as the iPhone giant looks to shape the upcoming debate over tax reform. CEO Tim Cook, has been a vocal advocate for streamlining the tax system and allowing companies (including his own) to return billions of dollars in foreign earnings without incurring a major U.S. penalty — and Cook has taken that message personally to Congress and the White House in recent months.

But Apple’s agenda exceeds Trump. The company also revealed it’s now lobbying on “issues related to autonomous vehicles.” That disclosure comes days after Apple received a permit in California to begin testing self-driving cars in the state.

Microsoft similarly took aim at changes to the tax code: It explicitly said it “opposed” any proposal that would “increase the taxation of income earned by foreign sales of intangible goods by U.S. based corporations.” Translation: Some of the ideas percolating in Washington right now.

Microsoft also spent some of its $2.3 million in early lobbying dollars supporting science and research funding, even as Trump proposes vast cuts to such programs. And it deployed one of its lobbyists, a former aide to now Vice President Mike Pence, specifically to press the country’s second-most-powerful leader on high-skilled immigration and trade issues, the records show.

Amazon, meanwhile, slowly has grown its lobbying footprint in the nation’s capital, and it spent $2.9 million to influence regulators on tax and immigration reforms to open 2017.

Earlier this year, Amazon also retained a lobbying firm run by one of Trump’s leading campaign advisers. The firm did not provide much detail on the work it’s doing on behalf of the e-commerce giant.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.