Trump's Criticism of Amazon Is Taking a Toll

President complains about Bezos' company, and its stock suffers
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2018 12:47 PM CDT
Trump Has a Big, New Target: Amazon
President Trump, left, and Microsoft's Satya Nadella listen as Amazon's Jeff Bezos speaks during a White House roundtable in 2017.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Amazon's stock is tumbling—it slid 4% on Wednesday, which translates to a loss of $53 billion, reports Gizmodo—and the slide was continuing on Thursday. The reason? It seems to be a prominent critic who just happens to be president. "I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election," President 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!" The tweet followed a report in Axios that Trump is fixated on penalizing the company owned by Jeff Bezos (who also owns the Washington Post, frequently critical of the president). All the chatter is making investors nervous that regulations of some sort might come about, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“He’s wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law," one source tells Axios. Taxes seem to be Trump's big issue, and CNBC digs into the issue. Amazon now collects sales tax from customers in every state that has such a tax on products it sells directly, but the president may be referring to goods sold by third-party sellers. Generally, no taxes are collected on those, an issue that might be straightened out in the Supreme Court this year. As for the USPS, Amazon gets the same deal as other bulk sellers, writes Chris Isidore at CNN, and one of the sources quoted by Axios says aides have explained to the president "that the post office actually makes a ton of money from Amazon." Still, Rhett Jones of Gizmodo suggests that the idea the USPS is "essentially subsidizing" Amazon's shipping isn't entirely far-fetched. (More President Trump stories.)

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