SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s top conglomerate Samsung Group spent a record amount lobbying U.S. politicians and officials in 2017 to counter Washington’s growing protectionism and other negatives, market sources said Monday.
Last year, the Trump administration stepped up its protectionist policy, and Samsung Electronics Co., the group’s crown jewel, was implicated in a series of patent disputes over smartphones and chips.
Samsung Group, the No. 1 family-controlled conglomerate in Asia’s fourth-largest economy, spent US$3.5 million lobbying lawmakers and government officials in Washington last year, according to local industry sources and the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), a non-profit, nonpartisan U.S. research group that tracks the effects of money and lobbying on elections and public policy.
Samsung Electronics, the world’s leading smartphone and memory chip maker, took the lion’s share with $3.41 million, with the remainder forked out by Samsung C&T Corp., the group’s construction unit.
Last year’s amount was more than double the $1.64 million spent the previous year and hovered well above the previous record of $1.68 million set two years earlier.
According to Samsung’s report to authorities, trade-related issues were Samsung’s main lobbying target in the U.S. last year, with 18 cases out of a total of 110.
By institution, the U.S. Senate was the top target with 27 cases, followed by the House of Representatives with 26 and the office of the American president with nine.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Commerce Department came next with six cases each, trailed by the White House and the Treasury Department with five, respectively.
Meanwhile, Oracle was the top lobbying spender among electronics firms operating in America with $12.4 million, followed by Microsoft with $8.5 million, Qualcomm with $8.26 million and Apple with $7.07 million.
Samsung Electronics ranked 11th, becoming the biggest foreign lobbying spender in the world’s largest economy after Germany’s Siemens, which spent $3.85 million last year.