Political Engagement

While our role in the world is always evolving, our positions on key issues affecting us all are clear and long standing.

Why We Get Involved

Decisions are made by governments throughout the world that have a dramatic effect on our business, on us as individuals and on our communities. We feel it’s important to tell our story and share the challenges we face as a global corporation in a manner consistent with local culture and forms of government, but always aligned with Our Values in Action.  

At Caterpillar, we want to make a positive difference around the world. We invite you to join us. The world is a big place, and there are big issues to face.

Engaging with Government

We believe that Caterpillar and our dealers deliver the best products and services in the world. However, the actions that governments take around the world can have significant impact—both positive and negative—on Caterpillar, our employees, customers, and stockholders. We think it is important for our government leaders to understand the impact of such policies. Therefore, on appropriate issues, when it is constructive under the applicable political system, we advocate in a manner consistent with all governing laws and Our Values in Action.

Advocacy and Contributions

The form of advocacy we use may differ depending on political systems and local laws. We often communicate with our employees and other stakeholders about the importance of public policy issues, and in some countries we may encourage them to express their views with lawmakers, if it is consistent with local custom and citizenship rights.

Our leaders also occasionally utilize opportunities to interact with government officials to directly advocate these and other positions.

In the United States, in compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act, Caterpillar files a quarterly report that includes: 1) total federal lobbying expenditures, 2) the name of the specific piece of legislation or subject that was the topic of communication, 3) disclosure of Caterpillar individuals who qualify as lobbyists on behalf of Caterpillar and 4) identification of the legislative body or executive branch agency that was contacted. This report incorporates expenses associated with lobbying the federal government, including the portion of trade association dues associated with federal lobbying. The report can be found on the U.S. Senate Office of Public Records website or the U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Clerk website.

Where permitted, Caterpillar makes lawful political contributions in the United States to political candidate committees, political parties, political committees, ballot measure committees, associations, and other political organizations including those operating under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code.  All contributions are intended to promote Caterpillar’s business interests and are made without regard for the private political preferences of any company personnel.  These contributions are reported to governing agencies where required by law. Corporate contributions approved for 2016 are shown here.

Caterpillar has not made in the past, and does not plan to make in the future, independent expenditures on behalf of or in opposition to federal, state, or local candidates.  Furthermore, Caterpillar does not contribute to political committees – also known as “Super PACs” – engaged in independent expenditures.  If our position on supporting independent expenditures changes, that declaration would be made on this website and information about the independent expenditures would be posted to this website and updated at least twice annually and disclosed through Federal Election Commission reports, or applicable state or local agencies, as required by law.

Political Action Committee Contributions

In addition to corporate political contributions, our eligible employees also fund and administer the Caterpillar Political Action Committee ("CATPAC"). CATPAC is entirely funded through voluntary contributions by eligible individuals who primarily are U.S. employees. A Steering Committee comprised of Caterpillar non-officer employees oversees all donations made by CATPAC to ensure that they promote the company’s business interests. The Committee is comprised of seven to twelve U.S.-based employees who represent a diverse mix of U.S. locations and business units. CATPAC contributions go to federal and state campaigns. Like Caterpillar, CATPAC does not make independent expenditures on behalf of or in opposition to federal, state or local candidates and does not contribute to Super PACs.  The candidates supported by CATPAC in 2016 are shown here.

Trade Association Memberships

In addition to direct campaign contributions, Caterpillar also maintains memberships in trade associations that engage in advocacy on behalf of segments of the business community. We are committed to supporting these trade associations, which champion public policies that contribute to the success and growth of the business community. Caterpillar’s participation as a member of any trade association comes with the understanding that we may not always agree with all of the positions of the organization or other members.  Here is a list of such trade associations to which Caterpillar has contributed, $50,000 per year or more in 2016.

Oversight

Our Values in Action requires that any political contributions by Caterpillar must be approved by our Vice President, Global Government & Corporate Affairs. 

To ensure appropriate Board oversight of political activities, the Board’s Public Policy and Governance Committee is briefed at least annually on the Company’s political activities including: (1) corporate political contributions; (2) political contribution activities of the CATPAC; (3) trade association participation; and (4) Caterpillar’s significant lobbying priorities. 

Archived Reports

Global Issues

Energy

There is no one single solution to providing globally abundant, reliable, secure, clean and reasonably priced energy. All energy sources need to be developed and used in an environmentally responsible manner. Caterpillar plays a major role in the exploration, development, extraction and delivery of many forms of energy -- traditional and alternative. Our efforts benefit the world's growing energy demands.

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Trade

Free trade requires us to continually improve our global competitiveness and creates an environment that allows us to better respond to our customers’ needs and to grow our business profitably. Caterpillar supports policies that enhance competition in the global marketplace and reduce—or better yet, eliminate—trade and investment barriers.

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Infrastructure

From growth economies where new infrastructure is required, to developed areas where aging networks need improvement, Caterpillar supports investment in transportation and infrastructure as a key enabler of sustainable development, economic growth, competitiveness and long-term job creation.

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