Amazon loses $31B after Trump targets them on Twitter over tax practices

Trump loads another tweet into the chamber — and fires on Amazon again

Trump also wants to change Amazon's tax treatment, the report said, an issue the president raised publicly a year ago when he called for an internet tax for online retailers, even though Amazon already collects sales tax on items it sells direct to customers.

The move came about a week before US President Trump accused the company in a tweet of not paying enough tax, taking advantage of the US postal system and putting small retailers out of business.

Amazon still doesn't collect state sales taxes for their "third-party" platform sellers in most of the country, a model that makes up more than 50% of Amazon's business, and in all fairness, is frustrating to more than just Trump.

Amazon could hurt the postal service - and other package companies - if it successfully shifts more of its delivery to its own delivery network, which it's been slowly building out over the past few years. Economist Michael Mandel notes that while brick-and-mortar retailers have lost 140,00 full-time jobs since 2007, e-commerce companies have added more than 400,000, including better-paying warehouse jobs in fulfillment centers.

Amazon did not initially collect state sales taxes when it began selling books online in 1995.

"Although we continue to win customers and grow our package business, these gains are not sufficient to offset continuing declines in our mail business, which is our main source of revenue and contribution", Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan said last month.

In a 2017 statement, Amazon said that its partnership with the Postal Service was "reviewed annually by the Postal Regulatory Commission", which found its contracts to be profitable.

An independent agency of the US federal government, USPS reported a net loss of $2.7 billion for fiscal 2017, largely due to increased costs of retirement benefits.

"And as a result, companies like Amazon can buy and sell good without having to pay basic retail taxes that your stores and your convenience stores and all the folks around, when you walk out of the studio over there and grab something, you have to pay".

"If I become president, oh do they have problems", Trump said at a campaign stop in 2016. Some in Congress support legislation to require all e-commerce companies collect state sales tax. Although the service is certainly losing money, the delivery of packages increased by 589m in 2017, which can be partially accredited to Amazon. The company's share price fell following the Axios report and dipped again a day later following Donald Trump's tweet.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule later this year on South Dakota v. Wayfair, which could give local and state governments more authority to mandate sales tax collection by online retailers, Davis said.

Trump has repeatedly criticized USPS for charging too little to deliver Amazon's packages, saying its policies are making "Amazon richer" and itself "dumber and poorer".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Wednesday no specific policies were now being considered in regards to Amazon. The USPS could charge more.

Details of Amazon's payments to USPS are not publicly known. "So has Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Kroger and any other superstore that took share from small businesses". Soon after Trump's tweet, the White House indicated imposing taxes on such companies.

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. "It's really about policy".

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