Trump takes another shot at Seattle-based Amazon

President Donald Trump accused Amazon of paying “little or no taxes” Thursday on Twitter.

Trump takes another shot at Seattle-based Amazon

By Joseph Pisani

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump took another shot at Amazon.com Thursday, tweeting that the online retailer pays “little or no taxes” and that it uses the U.S. Postal Service as “their Delivery Boy.”

Trump’s frustrations with Amazon are no surprise. He has accused the company of not paying enough taxes before, and in December tweeted that the U.S. Postal Service should charge Amazon more for delivering packages. His latest missive comes a day after Axios reported that Trump has wondered aloud if there was a way to “go after” Amazon with antitrust or competition law.

“I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “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!”

Amazon has grown rapidly since it launched in 1995 as a site that mostly sold books. It has changed the way people buy diapers, TVs and just about anything else. Toys R Us and other retailers that have filed for bankruptcy or gone out of business have said that Amazon’s low prices were hard to compete with. But industry analysts also say that some disappearing retailers were slow to adapt to the shift to online shopping.

Seattle-based Amazon has fought for years against collecting sales tax, but now collects it in states that have a sales tax. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said Thursday that some Amazon users don’t pay sales taxes, such as third-party vendors who sell their goods through the site.

Amazon.com Inc. did not respond to a request for comment.

As for the Postal Service, it has lost money for years, but online shopping has led to growth in its package-delivery business. And Amazon signed a deal in 2014 with the post office to deliver packages on Sundays.

A spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service declined to comment.

Analysts at Stifel said the president’s tweets on the topics does not seem “detrimental to Amazon.” Amazon’s stock, which is up more than 65 percent in the last 12 months, rose 1 percent to close at $1,447.34 Thursday.

Trump has targeted Amazon for other reasons in the past: its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos personally owns The Washington Post, and Trump has called the newspaper “fake news” and a “guardian of Amazon” after it published unfavorable stories about him or his administration.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a TV interview Thursday that Trump’s tweets are not about Bezos, but that mom-and-pop shops and brick-and-mortar stores are having trouble competing with fast-growing Amazon.

“Tax policy, and other policy, has to catch up … so those who are competing with Amazon are on a level playing field,” Shah said on Fox News show “Fox & Friends.” But he also said, “We’re not laying out specific policies.”

AP White House reporter Darlene Superville contributed to this report from Richfield, Ohio.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

FILE - In this May 24, 2019, file photo, teachers and students from Northwest Montessori School in Seattle examine the carcass of a gray whale after it washed up on the coast of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, just north of Kalaloch Campground in Olympic National Park. Researchers say the population of gray whales off the West Coast of the United States has fallen by nearly one-quarter since 2016, resembling a similar die-off two decades ago. In a paper released Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, NOAA Fisheries reported that surveys counted about 6,000 fewer migrating whales last winter, 21,000 as compared to 27,000 in 2016. (AP Photo/Gene Johnson, File)
Gray whale population drops by quarter off U.S. West Coast

Scientists believe that the number of whales may have exceeded what the environment can support.

Algae bloom is seen in June 2018 in Budd Inlet, at the southern end of Puget Sound in Thurston County. (Department of Ecology)
Human-caused ‘dead zones’ threaten the health of Puget Sound

Wastewater treatment plants account for about 70% of the excess nutrients.

Navy seeks to conduct SEAL training in Whidbey, Camano parks

The deadline to register to participate in public comment is 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22.

Jill Johnson (left) and Greg Banks
Bill to expand sports betting introduced in state Legislature

A similar proposal failed last year, but supporters say the new effort has bipartisan support.

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman arrives to talk to reporters, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. The Washington Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down Eyman's Initiative 976, a measure that would have steeply discounted the price of car registrations at $30 while gutting transportation budgets across Washington state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Judge weighs Eyman’s fate as civil trial draws to a close

The serial initiative promoter is accused of campaign finance violations. His lawyer says he did nothing wrong.

West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle. Photo courtesy of King County
Wastewater spills into Puget Sound, Lake Washington

About 20% of the 10 million gallons of untreated water was sewage, and 80% was stormwater.

U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (right), D-Medina, with U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Artondale, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday for the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. (Contributed photo) 20210120
Washingtonians bear witness to ‘democracy moving forward’

In “a moment to breathe and hope,” Snohomish County leaders witnessed the swearing in of President Joe Biden.

Police: Thief berated mom for leaving kid in car he stole

“He actually lectured the mother for leaving the child in the car and threatened to call the police.”

Most Read