Friday in CE: Trump Orders USPS Review, Likely Due to Hatred of Amazon
A little over a week ago, the current sitting President of the United States posted a tweet that took a jab at ecommerce giant Amazon. That kind of action is nothing new from Donald Trump, but in this particular instance he opted to make a connection between Jeff Bezos’ company and the perceived harm it is doing to the United States Postal Service.
I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2018
Trump’s last point, about putting retailers out of business, is one that doesn’t have factual merit—but as a B2B publication for the consumer electronics retailer, we can certainly sympathize with the impact the company has had, directly or indirectly, on this industry. It’s been rough.
As for the other two points about not paying taxes and causing “tremendous loss” to the U.S. via sweetheart deals with the Postal Service—we won’t call it fake news, but quite a few truths have been stretched.
Sales tax, for example—individual states have instituted policies that basically compel Amazon to collect sales tax through their ecommerce website. All 45 states, and Washington, DC, where a sales tax policy is in place also collect sales tax from Amazon. In our home state of Pennsylvania, for example, Amazon collects a 6 percent sales tax but no local sales tax. Sales tax percentages may vary from state to state, but the policies are in place there.
But then there’s the Postal Service component of this. Trump, on Thursday night, issued an executive order to establish a task force that will evaluate the USPS’s financial structure. While not directly aimed at reviewing how the agency works with Amazon, the timing of the announcement couldn’t express the President’s feelings any clearer.
And while figuring out Amazon’s impact on the USPS seems like a simple task (cost of shipping – revenue from contract = net loss/gain), but the fact is, no one really knows the details of that contract and what kind of terms Amazon and the USPS came up with. Further, it turns out that Amazon actually performs a fair amount of the shipping work itself—arranging packages by Zip code and carrier route and delivering them to the Postal Service’s distribution centers throughout the country.
It’s a wonder where and why this type of pressure on the USPS to sort out its Amazon dealings is coming, then…
Is Fake News Washington Post being used as a lobbyist weapon against Congress to keep Politicians from looking into Amazon no-tax monopoly?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
It's hard to read the Failing New York Times or the Amazon Washington Post because every story/opinion, even if should be positive, is bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2017
The #AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes (which they should) is FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2017
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