• Fact Check: President Trump's attack on Amazon

    By: Essex Porter

    Updated:

    Amazon was under attack from Donald Trump even before he was elected president.

    "Amazon is getting away with murder, tax-wise," candidate Trump said back in May 2016.

    His latest attack came in a tweet this morning.

    “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!”

    “Technically speaking, the president could make life miserable for Amazon, but will he? I'm pretty sure he won't,” said Joseph Phillips, dean of the Albers School of Business at Seattle University.

    “It's true that early on Amazon was really good at not paying any sales taxes to state and local governments. Over time, that caught up with them and now they're paying all the states, all the sales taxes they are supposed to get,” Phillips said.

    And when it comes to the Post Office, a source familiar with Amazon's thinking say the company gets no special break on package delivery.

    “It actually benefits the Postal Service to have Amazon as a customer," Phillips said.

    When it comes to retailing, Downtown Seattle Macy's used to have nine floors of merchandise; now, six are being remodeled to become Amazon offices. 

    Phillips points out that many of Trump's friends are in the business of leasing real estate to retailers.

    “There are lots of other online retailers that are causing things like shopping centers to be under stress,” Phillips explained.

    But when it comes to taxing Amazon, Republican Trump agrees with a Seattle Socialist, Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant, who said, "You have to go where the real wealth in Seattle is. Can you think of big businesses without thinking of Amazon?”

    Philips says President Trump could try to go after Amazon because the company is too big, but he doesn't see much evidence for an antitrust case. 

    Our source points out that Amazon retains cordial relations with the White House staff. They're working together on cyberbullying and jobs for veterans despite the president's animosity.

    We'll keep watching Twitter.

     


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