Thursday, 26 April, 2018

President Donald Trump Targets Amazon in New Tweets

Trump loads another tweet into the chamber — and fires on Amazon again US President Trump targets Amazon over taxes
Heather Davidson | 02 April, 2018, 11:22

Trump has made similar claims before about Amazon's tax payments, both as president and a private citizen.

A day after reports suggested Donald Trump has it in for Amazon, the US president added gasoline to the fire on Thursday, tweeting that the company is dodging its tax obligations.

While physical retail spaces are struggling, e-commerce is actually creating jobs in the U.S., with more positions on the way from Amazon.

In the case to be argued on April 17, South Dakota is asking the nine justices to overturn a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that only companies with a physical presence in a state are required to collect the state's sales tax on purchases. Amazon has already agreed to collect sales taxes in all 45 states that impose them on items it sells directly.

"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.

"If there really was teeth or real concern that something would come out of the government and regulatory oversight, Amazon's stock drop would be a lot lower than it is today", said Robert Bacarella, portfolio manager at Monetta Financial Services in Wheaton, Illinois, which holds Amazon shares.

A Supreme Court ruling favouring South Dakota could funnel up to $13 billion (£9.3 billion) annually of new tax revenues into the coffers of affected USA states, according to a 2017 federal government report.

Amazon shares slumped by as much as 7 percent after the report, before paring their losses.

"If I become president, oh do they have problems", Trump said at a campaign stop in 2016.

Brick-and-mortar stores have closed by the hundreds, as retail chains struggle to compete with the convenience of online shopping, a transformation led and dominated by Amazon.

In another financial report past year, USPS said growth in its package business was "a result of our successful efforts to compete in the ground shipping services and "last mile" e-commerce fulfillment markets, including Sunday delivery".

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".

Ironically, Trump's signature legislative achievement, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and gave Amazon a $789 million windfall in 2017.

For a time, many people selling things on Amazon would set themselves up in states with little or no state income tax, and then declare that all the income they earned in the USA should be taxed as though it was from there, regardless of where the buyer was from.

In response to questions about the Axios report, a White House official said no specific policy changes related to Amazon were known, but it was always looking at different options on a range of policy issues.

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies.

The reality, however, is that Amazon has little to do with why USPS has been bleeding red ink.

To comply with federal law, the Postal Service in 2017 had to generate at least $1.6 billion in income from its "competitive nonpostal services", which includes Amazon package deliveries. Amazon, since forming a JV with the Patni group, has also been working closely with Appario Retail.

Two things before we dive in: The Washington Post has been owned since 2013 by Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, as a personal investment via Nash Holdings LLC.

The company - or more specifically its CEO Jeff Bezos - is a frequent target of the president.

The reported hostility from the White House comes as the Seattle company's profile in the capital rises along with its growing array of businesses interests. "It's really about policy".

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