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Apple still pushing for $1.5 trillion US overseas profit tax holiday

With an estimated $1.5 trillion in foreign profits at stake, Apple and other tech companies have continued to show support for an overseas profit tax holiday for U.S. corporations.

Apple is a financial backer of the WIN America corporate lobbying group that has garnered millions of dollars for major American corporations, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The companies seek a tax break on $1.5 trillion in profits that are being held overseas.

The White House has stood in opposition to a tax holiday, but supporters believe they might be able to sway President Barack Obama to support the measure as the U.S. economy continues to struggle.

The a proposed bill reportedly has the support of 15 Republicans and eight Democrats in the House of Representatives. No bill has appeared in the Senate, but at least one Democratic senator has indicated they are considering one.

The WIN America Campaign has argued that the tax holiday will provide an incentive for U.S. businesses to bring their global earnings to America, and invest in jobs locally. It argues that another stimulus, more tax cuts or action by the Federal Reserve are unlikely, while unemployment lingers north of 9 percent.

"Providing American businesses with incentives to invest at home is a common sense solution that will immediately inject up to $1 trillion into our economy and provide businesses with the security and certainty they need to help Americans get back to work," the campaign's official site reads. "The time to act is now. Let's invest the money here at home — not spend it overseas."

Apple is not alone in the tech industry in its support of the foreign profit tax holiday. Google is another financier of the WIN America campaign, along with Oracle and Cisco. Reuters noted that all four companies are also major backers of Obama, donating a total of $1.3 million to his 2008 campaign.

Lobby


Apple first joined the tax holiday effort in February, calling for a temporary break that would enable the iPhone maker and others to repatriate foreign cash by paying only 5 percent in taxes during a one-year period. The companies have argued that such a break could justify investing in research, hiring American workers, and other domestic spending that would boost the economy.

As of last quarter, Apple had nearly $80 billion in cash holdings, while international sales accounted for 62 percent of the company's revenue for the three-month period. Apple executives believe the role of international sales will become greater in the coming quarters, particularly in China, where the company's products have seen considerable growth.