Trump Rails at Amazon Over Taxes, USPS, Local Retail

Trump loads another tweet into the chamber — and fires on Amazon again

I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election.

The largest online retailer has been a favorite target of Trump since his campaign, with the president blasting the company on Twitter for paying what he says are unfairly low taxes, damaging other retailers, and allegedly getting a sweetheart deal from the U.S. Postal Service, among other complaints.

Previous year in August, Trump took to Twitter to express how the e-commerce company is hurting the retail industry and is responsible for the losses of jobs in the US.

Amazon doesn't have to pay sales taxes in many cities, Davis noted, but that is due to flaws in state and local laws rather than to Amazon flouting tax regulations.

"Although we continue to win customers and grow our package business, these gains are not sufficient to offset continuing declines in our mail business, which is our main source of revenue and contribution", Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan said last month. And he could thwart Amazon's aspirations to win a multibillion dollar Pentagon contract for cloud services.

The Postal Service saw a net loss of $2.7 billion in fiscal 2017, driven by factors such as declining flat-mail volume and pension and health benefit liabilities.

Changing Amazon's tax treatment or using antitrust law to thwart Amazon would be hard. The development comes at a time when the local arm of the Seattle-based company has been faced with issues from several of the third-party sellers, especially the ones who do not use the e-commerce major's Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) service.

It's true that traditional, high street retailers are suffering in the age of online shopping, but Amazon alone can not be blamed for this.




Donald Trump attacks coincided with calls from outside groups who insist on inspections because Amazon has grown too much and should be investigated for non-competitive practices.

Asked about Wednesday's report, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration wasn't considering policy moves aimed at Amazon.

Ironically, Trump's signature legislative achievement, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and gave Amazon a $789 million windfall in 2017. Third party sellers have been crying foul over these sellers getting preferential treatment from the company but Amazon has always maintained it treats every merchant on its platform under the same policy.

"During the previous five years, Amazon reported USA profits of $8.2 billion and paid an effective federal income tax rate of just 11.4 percent", wrote Matthew Gardner, an ITEP senior fellow. But is Amazon paying little or no taxes to states and local governments?

It is not clear that Amazon is responsible for the United States Postal Service (USPS) losing money, although Wall Street analysts have estimated it pays USPS roughly half what it would to United Parcel Service Inc UPS.N or FedEx Corp FDX.N to deliver a package. But there are other factors, such as high debt, and Amazon is not exclusively responsible.

"They're not making money in retail, and they're putting retailers out of business", Simon told CNBC. On Feb. 15, speaking at a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, Mnuchin said he had spoken personally with Trump about online taxation, and that the president "does feel strongly" that sales tax should be applied to internet purchases.

Two things before we dive in: The Washington Post has been owned since 2013 by Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, as a personal investment via Nash Holdings LLC. "It's really about policy".

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