Amazon shares fall after report Trump wants to curb its power

02 April, 2018, 11:22 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • Before becoming president Trump criticized Amazon’s “monopolistic tendencies” and said the company could face antitrust problems

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

President Trump again took aim at Amazon, blasting it for hurting retailers as well as the U.S. Postal Service.

Trump has talked about using antitrust law to "go after" the company because he is anxious about mom-and-pop retailers being put out of business by Amazon, Axios reported, citing five sources it said had discussed the issue with him.

In its latest annual report, the U.S. Postal Service credits "e-commerce growth" with its package delivery service bringing in $19.5 billion in revenue previous year, far more than expected. Today, Amazon does pay in all states that have sales taxes. A report released March 26 by the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy said Amazon either doesn't collect and remit local sales tax or is charging a lower sales tax rate than traditional retailers in seven states: Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. But he also said, "We're not laying out specific policies". There is an argument that the rise of Amazon has actually benefitted the postal service. In 2013, it reported a net loss of $4.98 billion, according the USPS annual report.

"And as a result, companies like Amazon can buy and sell good without having to pay basic retail taxes that your stores and your convenience stores and all the folks around, when you walk out of the studio over there and grab something, you have to pay".

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The retailer and cloud computing pioneer is the latest company Trump has singled out for praise or condemnation, although the effect on stock prices of his targets is generally short-lived. Amazon does not have to collect taxes on third-party sellers using its Marketplace 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.

While the Postal Service has lost money for more than a decade, it swung to a profit this year largely because online shopping has led to growth in its package-delivery business.

According to the Axios story, Trump doesn't believe Amazon pays its fair share of sales tax.

Trump is no fan of Amazon, and he often broadcasts this on Twitter. But is Amazon paying little or no taxes to states and local governments?

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Trump does not have any new policies planned that would affect Amazon, a White House official said on Thursday, adding that Trump was prompted to speak out on the subject in reaction to news reports this week.

Sources say Amazon had cut ties from the lobbying firms last Friday and in their place hired Paul Brathwaite of Federal Street Strategies LLC and Josh Holly of Holly Strategies Inc, both of whom have previously worked as outside lobbyists for Airbnb Inc and Oracle.

"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.

To comply with federal law, the Postal Service in 2017 had to generate at least $1.6 billion in income from its "competitive nonpostal services", which includes Amazon package deliveries.

Amazon is not involved in the case but the eventual ruling could have consequences for the online retailing behemoth and other e-commerce businesses.

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White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah denied on Thursday that Trump's criticism was a personal grudge. He's criticized the company for skirting taxes, slammed its CEO Jeff Bezos for using the newspaper he owns to push Amazon's agenda, and occasionally accused Amazon of taking advantage of the U.S. Postal Service.

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