Trump Goes After Amazon’s Postal Rates

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U.S. President Donald Trump launched his second attack against Amazon, reiterating that the eCommerce giant is receiving cheap rates from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and not paying enough in taxes.

Last Thursday, Trump tweeted: “I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!”

That tweet came after an Axios report revealed that the president is apparently “obsessed” with Amazon and has wondered out loud if the government could go after the company from an antitrust or competition standpoint.

Trump reiterated his opinion about Amazon on Saturday, this time tweeting, “While we are on the subject, it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars,” according to Reuters.

Investor concerns about regulatory action sent Amazon shares down 3.3 percent over Wednesday and Thursday, taking $24 billion off the company’s market value. However, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said on Thursday that Trump isn’t discussing any new actions against the company.

While an analysis last year showed that a reallocation of shipping costs by the USPS would result in a $1.46 increase per package, federal regulators, which review contracts made by USPS, have not raised any concerns with the terms of its contract with Amazon.

“If the P.O. ‘increased its parcel rates, Amazon’s shipping costs would rise by $2.6 Billion’,” Trump tweeted, although it was not clear what report he was citing. “This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!”

Trump has also directed his ire against The Washington Post, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos privately owns. The paper won a Pulitzer Prize in 2017 for its investigation of Trump’s charity donations, but White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah claimed that the president’s criticism wasn’t the result of a personal grudge.