Trump adviser ties Amazon criticism to US Supreme Court case
Trump adviser ties Amazon criticism to US Supreme Court case
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02 April, 2018, 00:48
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.
Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday: "I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election".
Trump also wants to change Amazon's tax treatment, the report said, an issue the president raised publicly past year when he called for an internet tax for online retailers, even though Amazon already collects sales tax on items it sells direct to customers.
Some retail competitors believe the third-party vendor policy gives the retail giant an unfair advantage, which may very well be true - Amazon reported a provisional tax expense of roughly $200m in U.S. state taxes past year, pennies against their $177.9B annual sales. The company didn't pay federal income tax in 2017 and in the past, did not pay sales taxes in many states.
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. Among the challenges that the postal service faces is its duty to serve the entire country.
Two things before we dive in: The Washington Post has been owned since 2013 by Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, as a personal investment via Nash Holdings LLC. "Right now, there is no internet sales tax, and, as a result, companies like Amazon can buy and sell goods without having to pay basic retail taxes". Now the company charges sales taxes in the 45 states that have them and the District of Columbia.
The online retailer has been continuously adding products which are ready to be shipped for next day or two day deliveries. "Towns, cities and states throughout the USA are being hurt - many jobs being lost!"
Washington and Pennsylvania recently enacted laws requiring collection of third-party merchants' sales taxes, and other states are expected to follow.
If that is the case, Amazon, widely believed to be one of the Postal Service's biggest customers, certainly benefits. Soon after Trump's tweet, the White House indicated imposing taxes on such companies.
Trump's attacks on Amazon reflect a broader debate about its effect on the United States economy.
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. Of course, Amazon might not even need the Post Office when its fleet of drones takes flight.
The Postal Service declined to comment on Trump's tweet. Its revenue from shipping and packages in fiscal 2017 was $19.5 billion, up 13% from the previous year.
"If there really was teeth or real concern that something would come out of the government and regulatory oversight, Amazon's stock drop would be a lot lower than it is today", said Robert Bacarella, portfolio manager at Monetta Financial Services in Wheaton, Illinois, which holds Amazon shares. The online retail giant clearly leverages many tools to keep the tax man at bay.
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.
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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