Trump Fires Another Round at Amazon Over Postal Rates, Taxes

02 April, 2018, 00:49 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • Trump loads another tweet into the chamber — and fires on Amazon again

The President took to Twitter in an effort to articulate his anti-Amazon position after an Axios report published Wednesday, March 28, 2018, suggested that the President "hates" and "is obsessed with" the online-and, recently, on-ground-retailer and its CEO Jeff Bezos.

While the White House downplayed the report, Trump himself tweeted Thursday that he has long had concerns about Amazon.

Cloudtail, appointed a senior Amazon executive Sumit Sahay as its CEO previous year, is the most important seller for Amazon in India and the company relies heavily on it to push top selling categories.

But, earlier this year, the Supreme Court agreed to listen to arguments over internet sales taxes after South Dakota and 36 other states argued that times have changed in the Amazon era.

The company - or more specifically its CEO Jeff Bezos - is a frequent target of the president.

A Supreme Court ruling favouring South Dakota could funnel up to $13 billion (£9.3 billion) annually of new tax revenues into the coffers of affected US states, according to a 2017 federal government report.

Amazon founder Bezos also privately owns the Washington Post, which won a Pulitzer Prize past year for its investigation of Trump's donations to charities.

Trump has criticized the big e-commerce company over taxes and jobs in the past, without offering evidence. Now the company charges sales taxes in the 45 states that have them and the District of Columbia.

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Brick-and-mortar stores have closed by the hundreds, as retail chains struggle to compete with the convenience of online shopping, a transformation led and dominated by Amazon.

Hassett focused on the fact that Amazon does not collect the taxes on sales made by third-party vendors, which is estimated to be about half of its total sales. Separate figures in the report show it was expecting to pay $100 million to $200 million in taxes at the US state level in 2017. At one point, he referred to the paper as "Amazon Washington Post".

Analysts at Stifel said the president's tweets on the topics does not seem "detrimental to Amazon". The company previously reported paying $412 million in income taxes in 2016, $273 million in 2015 and $177 million in 2014, according to the commission. The Post Office lost $2.7 billion past year, but "Shipping and packages were a rare bright spot for USPS in 2017, one of two sub-categories of mail for which revenue increased, rather than declined", according to Quartz.

"With Facebook and regulatory worries, the last thing nervous tech investors wanted to see was news that Trump is targeting Bezos and Amazon over the coming months as this remains a lingering cloud over the stock and heightens the risk profile in the eyes of the Street", GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives said.

In his tweet, Trump also took aim at the company's use of the postal service is "causing tremendous loss", but that too is misleading.

"The growth in our Shipping and Packages business provided some help to the financial picture of the Postal Service as revenue increased $2.1 billion, or 11.8 percent", USPS said in a press release.

Trump's claim that Amazon is to blame for the U.S. Postal Service's woes dates back to December, when he said via Twitter that Amazon's deal, which includes Sunday delivery via the regular mail, was making it "richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer". The online retail giant clearly leverages many tools to keep the tax man at bay.

Given that they follow the same model one would think Donald Trump would have more respect for Amazon but he's clearly not a fan.

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