updated 06:35 pm EDT, Wed October 3, 2007
Apple pushes free trade
Apple is among the US electronic companies with combined annual sales of $160 billion urging the government to approve four pending free trade agreement deals, claiming that they are crucial to continuing economic growth. In addition to Apple, Sony Corp, Intel Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co and Microsoft Corp are among those lobbying under the umbrella of the Consumer Electronics Association. Reuters reports that although Congress is expected to soon approve a free trade pact with Peru, many Democrats are strongly opposed to similar deals with Colombia and South Korea. "They criticize Colombia's record on human rights and say the auto provisions of the Korean pact would too heavily favor Seoul."
Apple played heavily in the political arena in the first half of this year, spending $720,000 on lobbying the federal government. Apple advocated by Apple were bills that would increase funding for technology education and provide tax breaks for company spending on research and development. The lobbying expense was disclosed in a form filed Aug. 14 with the Senate's public records office.