Trump attacks Amazon for sales tax collection practices

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President Donald Trump once again took to Twitter this morning to lash out at Amazon, targeting the company’s alleged non-collection of taxes.

“Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt - many jobs being lost!” he tweeted.

Trump has hit Amazon repeatedly in recent weeks over claims that the online giant is not collected sales tax on orders. While Trump is partially correct in his statement, the whole story is being lost in 140 characters, reports CNBC.

“Amazon currently collects sales tax in every state where it’s required for the products the company actually sells,” CNBC reported. “But more than half of items purchased on Amazon come from third-party merchants, who use various parts of Amazon’s storage, payments and logistics systems and generally aren’t required to collect sales tax.”

It was unclear what prompted the latest Twitter rant from Trump, but Bloomberg reported that the tweet came hours after the Washington Post – also owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos – published an editorial critical of Trump.

Bloomberg also noted that while Trump suggested Amazon was costing the country jobs, that may not entirely be the case, as the company plans to hire up to 100,000 new workers by the end of 2018, many of them former retail workers, it said.

Amazon stock fell $4.56 today to $978.18.



Amazon has come under fire recently for another tactic - its use of the U.S. Postal Service for deliveries. A report published by Josh Sandbulte in the Wall Street Journal claimed that the USPS is providing what is in essence a subsidy to Amazon for all those package deliveries.

“The U.S. Postal Service delivers the company’s boxes well below its own costs,” Sandbulte wrote. “Like an accelerant to the fire, this subsidy is speeding up the collapse of traditional retailers in the U.S. and providing an unfair advantage for Amazon.”

He further labeled the $1.46 charge as “a gift card from Uncle Sam.” Despite shipping with both UPS and FedEx as well, the bulk of Amazon’s deliveries are still sent through USPS. Amazon though is not the only client USPS has, but with 40% of the business coming from Amazon, Sandbulte claims the Postal Service is “picking winners and losers in the retail world.”

Sandbulte was criticized for his attack on the USPS, in an article on Fortune.com. That article noted that Sandbulte is a co-president of investment firm Greenhaven Associates, which has a financial stake in FedEx stock, MarketWatch.com said.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight has covered the U.S. trucking and transportation community for more than 10 years, winning numerous regional and national editorial awards, including a Jesse. H. Neal Award. Prior to working on FreightWaves, Brian spent 10 years at industry trade magazine Fleet Owner, and prior to that managed daily newspaper editorial operations.