A source close to Trump told news website Axios that the President’s obsession with Amazon is stronger than ever. Reports from the White House indicate that President Trump is actually considering legal means to go after the online retailer. According to the White House source, Trump has long believed that Amazon is a negative force for small and locally owned retailers. As a result, he wants to curtail Amazon’s dominance in online shopping.
Trump wants to change Amazon’s tax status or pursue the company through antitrust rules. There’s a case already in front of the US Supreme Court that could give states more power to collect sales tax from online retailers. Although Amazon imposes the required sales tax on the items it sells, third-party sellers who use the platform to sell are allowed to decide on their own if they want to collect sales tax or not.
However, Trump’s distaste for Amazon is not something new. The President recently tweeted that Amazon is hurting the US Postal Service. He isn’t a big fan of Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos either. Trump has attacked Bezos because he owns The Washington Post.
There’s no doubt that Amazon has had a massive impact on the US retail industry. Experts agree that many retailers have gone bankrupt because they can’t compete with the online retail giant. However, President’s complaint about the relationship between Amazon and the US Postal Service is unfounded.
Even though Amazon pays less for shipments, it is, in fact, the reason why the US Postal Service is still alive in the first place. The USPS draws a huge share of its revenue from Amazon shipments and its financial woes can be easily attributed to funding mismanagement and competitive weaknesses in its business model.
Despite his complaints, it seems that the President doesn’t have a clear plan on how to move forward with this. The White House has officially rejected these claims. Speaking to reporters during a White House briefing, press secretary Sarah Sanders said that the President is not currently pursuing any new policy targeted at Amazon. Sanders also added that the administration is not considering taking any action or pursuing any policy change. The Axios report had an effect on Amazon’s stocks too. Shares fell by 4.2% or the equivalent of $63 a share.
Amazon was among the first companies worth more than $1,000 per share in the US stock market. The company is also the most valuable in the US right now. The online retailer has dominated the online shopping industry but in recent years it has been moving towards brick-and-mortar too by acquiring Whole Foods and launching various features that target brick-and-mortar shoppers. The company is also planning to launch new cashier-less stores that leverage on machine learning technology to offer the ultimate shopping experience. It’s not clear yet whether Trump is serious about going after Amazon but so far, it seems that the president is obsessed with the company.