President Trump goes after a favorite target: Amazon

President Trump goes after a favorite target: Amazon

Donald Trump has turned his fire on Amazon with a series of complaints about the online retailer's tax practices and the threat it poses to smaller rivals.

The short tweet begins with Trump announcing "I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the election", before revealing how the retail giant pays "little or no taxes to state & local governments".

The outlet said the president is obsessed with the company and wants to change the way Amazon is treated under tax law.

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Amazon.com Inc. did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump's criticism of Amazon's tax arrangements centers on products sold by third-party firms using its platform, on which it collects no taxes if they are coming from out-of-state retailers. The tweet followed a report in Axios that Trump is fixated on penalizing the company owned by Jeff Bezos (who also owns the Washington Post, frequently critical of the president). Using discounted shipping rates, Amazon outsources the door-to-door package delivery to the Postal Service.

A January study from Cornerstone Advisors quoted in the report says that potential customers of all ages would bank with Amazon even if that implied paying a monthly fee. "Like other businesses, Amazon pays taxes on corporate income, property, payroll and unemployment insurance", the review read. Amazon's choice of location for the new campus, winnowed to 20 candidates in January, has sparked fierce competition between state and local governments offering extensive tax breaks. The stock fell nearly 4 percent at the open on Thursday. Toys R Us and other retailers that have filed for bankruptcy or gone out of business have said that Amazon's low prices were hard to compete with. USPS declined to comment on Trump's tweet. "We think, for the most part, that it would be hard for the current administration to materially change the landscape for Amazon".

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White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah denied on Thursday that Trump's criticism was a personal grudge.

Mr Trump's charge that Amazon causes the United States Postal Service (USPS) to lose money is unsubstantiated.

Analysts at Stifel said the president's tweets on the topics does not seem "detrimental to Amazon".

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"Walmart was crushing the little guys before Amazon, and more of Amazon's growth is coming from the Walmarts of the world", Kerner said.

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