US president, Donald Trump on Thursday continued his recent attacks on Amazon. to reporters while traveling back to Washington DC from West Virginia aboard Air Force One, Trump said that he is going to address what he called unfair business advantages of online retailer Amazon.com Inc. The president accused the company of not operating on a level playing field and not paying enough sales tax.
In his response to questions by newsmen on whether he wanted to make policy changes related to Amazon, Trump said: “We’re going to take a very serious look at that. He added added that ”the “sales tax situation” was going to be looked at soon by the Supreme Court.
The comments followed a tweet earlier in the day. In Trump’s earlier tweet he labelled the Washington Post as the “chief lobbyist” for Amazon. According to Reuters, his lobbying allegations repeated a previous unsubstantiated attack on the newspaper, while White House officials in recent days have said no policy changes related to Amazon were currently planned.
On Thursday, he took issue with a headline in the Post on China retaliating with trade penalties against U.S. products.
“The Fake News Washington Post, Amazon’s ‘chief lobbyist,’ has another (of many) phony headlines,” Trump said on Twitter.
The Washington Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron, rejected the accusation saying; “There isn’t anybody here who is paid by Amazon,” Baron told the New York Times in a report published on Tuesday. “Not one penny.”
In his recent onslaught against the online retail giant, Trump has repeatedly attacked the use of the United States Postal Service by Amazon, claiming it is losing money on delivering Amazon packages. He repeated the claim on on Thursday while speaking to reporters;
“The Post Office is not doing well with Amazon,” He said.
Meanwile, Amazon’s shares has witnessed a depreciation in its price due to a reason many claim to be related to fears of new government policies that could affect the company.
According to Reuters, amazon shares closed up 2.9 percent on Thursday, but dipped slightly after the market close following the latest Trump comments. Before Thursday’s trading, the stock had dropped 4 percent since news website Axios reported last week that Trump was obsessed with Amazon and wanted to curb its power, possibly with anti-trust action.
Meanwhile, in a related development, a 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. The Justice Department filed a brief in support of South Dakota, which lost in lower courts.
Although the retail giant is not involved in the case but from all indications, eventual outcome could have consequences for them and other e-commerce businesses. Amazon has already agreed to collect sales taxes in all 45 states that impose them on items it sells directly.
How far is Trump and the United States government ready to go in his fight against Amazon’s unfair business advantage over the offline retailers? We keep our fingers crossed. Jeff Bezos may have some fight on his hands. We keep our fingers crossed to see how this all pans out.