Donald Trump once again used social media to attack Amazon. This time, Trump accused the online retailer of being a threat to small businesses as well as “paying little or no taxes.”
By now, everyone is probably aware that Trump is not really friends with Amazon as well as its CEO Jeff Bezos. So, it came as no surprise when the president decided to tweet his concern against the eCommerce giant last Thursday. Aside from accusing the company of not paying enough taxes, Trump also asserted that the government actually suffered losses due to Amazon's use of the US Postal Service in its deliveries.
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
However, Trump’s statement about Amazon’s tax practice is a bit misleading. While the retailer previously collected sales taxes only in a few states, the company has since corrected its operations and is now collecting in 45 states or all states that impose the collection of sales taxes.
Trump is a known critic of Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos. In fact, Trump had attacked both Bezos and his company via Twitter more than a dozen times since 2015. Some of his vitriol no doubt comes from unfavorable stories printed about him by The Washington Post, which is also owned by Bezos.
Regardless of his intentions, many business analysts agree with Trump’s view that Amazon’s size has strangled competitors, particularly the brick and mortar retailers. This concern first surfaced way back in the 90s when the company started out as an online bookstore. These days as a retailer of all things, Amazon’s has a far bigger presence in the world of eCommerce, accounting for a staggering 40 percent of all online sales.
“The Trump administration should rein in giants like Amazon because they have an unfair stranglehold on the competition, not because the president has a personal feud with a company’s CEO,” Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison said in a statement, which echoed Trump’s concern.
Of course, Amazon is aware that its ballooning size is bound to raise some antitrust issues soon. Eyeing the storm that is yet to come, the company wants its bases covered and has reportedly hired numerous antitrust consultants over the past year.
Amazon’s tax history is not entirely blemish-free either. The company recently ran into problems in its international operations and settled a tax dispute with French authorities for an undisclosed amount. However, the EU ruled Amazon to have an “illegal tax advantage” and ordering the company to pay $294 million to Luxembourg.