Cook's Visit to Washington was an Attempt to "Open Up a Line of Communication"
According to a report from Fortune
, the reason for Cook’s visit to the nation’s capital was to show key policymakers that they have an open line of communication to the Apple executive. It was previously reported that Cook met with House Speaker John Boehner as well as Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell. The meet-and-greets were largely seen as introductions with no serious issues being mentioned but it seems that Cook’s time in Washington yielded positive results with the politicians.
An aide said that “it was an act of opening up a line of communication, but it was a first step in what hopefully will be a growing relationship.” An industry source claims that the discussions were conducted in typical Apple fashion, saying “they were quiet and focused. There was no public statement, no press conference, no hoopla, just like the company, which is focused on product design and end results.” According to the same source, Cook has a strong personal interest in government policy issues and "recognizes the role an engaged CEO can play in making a difference on those policy priorities."
It is being speculated that Cook may be looking to change the level of engagement Apple shares with Congress, though as it stands the company trails far behind competing tech companies in money spent on lobbying. An example of this would be the fact that Apple put $500,000 towards political advocacy whereas Google reported earmarked ten times that amount in the first quarter of 2012. As of right now, Apple also lacks a political action committee to back lawmakers’ campaign funds, something that is common for most large corporations in America.