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President Trump Slams Amazon For 'Causing Tremendous Loss To the United States' (cnet.com) 559

President Trump escalated his attack on Amazon on Thursday, saying that the e-commerce giant does not pay enough taxes, and strongly suggested that he may try to rein in the e-commerce business. From a report: The president took aim at Amazon's tax contributions, its use of the US Postal Service and practices that put "many thousands of retailers out of business!" The accusations aren't new. The tweet was likely prompted by an Axios story on Wednesday that claimed Trump was weighing "going after" Amazon over alleged antitrust activities or violations of competition laws. The Axios story appeared to contribute to a selloff of Amazon stock Wednesday, with Amazon shares dropping 4.4 percent, even though Trump's disdain for Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, was already well-known. Bezos owns The Washington Post, whose coverage has been less than glowing about the new president, which may be a factor in Trump's attacks. Trump's tweet, in full: 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!
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President Trump Slams Amazon For 'Causing Tremendous Loss To the United States'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:05PM (#56347051)

    Isn't that, literally, why they exist?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:12PM (#56347103)

      I think that he thinks that the USPS delivers Amazon's stuff for free using Unicorns.

      • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:35PM (#56347365)

        If they want to go after someone that is abusing the USPS it's the Chinese sellers that use international postal law to get the USPS to pay the expensive last mile.

        • by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @01:04PM (#56347669)
          This. A 4oz package i ship to someone next door to me (or anywhere in the US) costs me $2.66 (with a commercial discount). A 4oz package from China (to anywhere in the US) costs the Chinese company .17 cents.

          For these dipshits complaining us "leftists" should be on board with everyone paying their fair share but aren't... it's not that we don't think that, it's just that we seem to have a better idea of what the problem is than shit-for-brain idiots who only listen to grab-them-by-the-pussy-Trump.
        • by Mnemennth ( 607438 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @01:35PM (#56347945) Journal

          LOLOL... SERIOUSLY?!?

          Most of them use ePacket now... a wholly USPS owned and operated service with depots in every major manufacturing hub in China.

          So lets get this right... USPS sets up this system just for US Tech companies to get electronic parts and modules from China delivered cheap and quick... and you want to "go after them" for USING IT?

          *Shakes head*

          mnem
          Now for something completely... the same old Western Corporate-Centric BS.

      • by butchersong ( 1222796 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @01:17PM (#56347791)
        I don't know what kind of bizaro world I've stumbled into where Republicans are defending a generous pension quasi government entity and democrats are defending the most cut throat capitalistic company in the US currently. Do we all just reflexively side either pro or anti Trump then proceed to rationalize that decision with whatever mental contortions are necessary to avoid any serious challenge to or growth in the way we view the world?
        • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @01:39PM (#56347989)

          Do we all just reflexively side either pro or anti Trump then proceed to rationalize ...

          Trump's problem with Amazon is really about his dislike of Jeff Bezos and The Washington Post (Jeff owns both) and the things the newspaper writes about Trump. Trump calling things "fake news" doesn't make them actually so...

          Not trolling (really), but... to address your comments. The problem with Trump is that about 99% of everything he says is either flat-out wrong or easily-provably false. The safe, rational bet is to stand on the opposite side of whatever he's talking about.

          The tweet in the TFS looks to be full of errors and/or half-truths, except for the part about harming retailers -- but is that really Amazon's fault or the people and retailers that sell through them. As to the other statements, Amazon *pays* the USPS to delivery things, albeit at a discount -- just like FedEx and UPS do for some last-mile deliveries. As for how much taxes Amazon and their retailers pay, that's on the State and Federal Congresses and the laws they pass. However, I have trouble believing that Trump and the Republicans want a rich person and company to pay *more* taxes, especially after the tax hand-job they gave their buddies and themselves in the recent tax bill.

          • by cream wobbly ( 1102689 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @02:24PM (#56348381)

            Yeah, wrt practices that put "many thousands of retailers out of business!" in TFS, it's just plain BS.

            What puts "many thousands of retailers out of business!" is those "many thousands of retailers!" engaging in a race-to-the-bottom. Anti-Amazonians' shining example of an Amazon victim is Toys R Us, but their problems began before Amazon was a big deal, way back in the eBay era. Amazon is just Sears-on-your-iPad. Did Sears have practices that put "many thousands of retailers out of business!" ?

            That race-to-the-bottom starts with the staff. Failing to pay them properly means they don't feel invested in the future of the company. So they do the absolute minimum for minimum wage.

            How to "fight" Amazon if you're a small retailer? Disengage. Stop trying to sell the same things. If you do sell some of the same things, open an Amazon storefront for them, and talk up your friendly in-person showroom, with stellar after-sales support. Oh you need better staff retention and expertise? And you don't want them to look like they're getting by on 6 hours' sleep after their third part-time job of the day? Pay more. Pay benefits.

            It's lack of skill in business management that puts "many thousands of retailers out of business!" First rule of business: distinguish your service or your product.

            Because one thing's for sure: you ain't gonna out-compete a multi-billion dollar retail business in your mom & pop 2000 sqft on the stripmall.

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:05PM (#56347053)
    Deliberately falsely badmouthing a company in order to drive it's stock price down is legally called "tortious interference", and is VERY actionable. I'm also pretty sure Jeff Bezos can afford some pretty could lawyers. Trump will be tied up in court until well after his death.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Good luck proving that.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Lisandro ( 799651 )

        Good luck proving that.

        Given that all statements Trump made regarding Amazon are demonstrably false, i think they wouldn't have much of a problem if they so choose to.

        • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:28PM (#56347265) Journal
          See, here's the problem: for purposes of what you just said, it doesn't matter if what he said is true or false; he's using his political position (i.e. POTUS) to affect a private corporation. That can't possibly be allowed.
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      I thought he was already dead and we are ruled by his hairpiece.
      I for one welcome our hairpiece overlord.

    • Not that I necessarily agree with his claims or at least how he describes them. But as President if he has concern over the growing monopoly level power and influence a company has and is creating, it is his obligation to speak out and even possibly direct anti-trust proceedings to begin. Amazon and a few other companies want to be and do everything and they are leveraging their size, taking losses in some branches to drive out competition.

      Again, his wording makes it hard to agree with. But with the way
      • by zieroh ( 307208 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:59PM (#56347625)

        Agreed that Amazon is becoming a monopoly, and it may need oversight from the FTC. But using outright lies about the company is not the way to do it.

        There are many negative (and truthful) things he could say about Amazon. It is a mark of his incompetence that he is unable to do so.

    • I've already made my own comments on this, but as to what you've just said: I'd say it's 'actionable' simply because he's very obviously using his position as POTUS to affect a perfectly legal, legitimate, and big (read as: good for and significant to the health of the economy of the Country) private business. I've never ever heard of a POTUS doing such a thing. It's got to be an ethics violation at the very least; does Trump hold stock in any competing companies -- or have any vested interest in foreign co
    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      Deliberately falsely badmouthing a company in order to drive it's stock price down is legally called "tortious interference", and is VERY actionable.

      How does badmouthing a company and driving its stock price down interfere with a company's ability to execute contracts or interfere with its business relationships? It's market manipulation, not tortious interference, and it is illegal because of SEC law (section 9(a)(2)), not because of contract/business law.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:07PM (#56347065)
    He uses his government position to go after personal grudges.
    Putting retailers out of business? I thought we like the free market around here?
    Not paying taxes? I thought not paying taxes was smart?
  • by Scarred Intellect ( 1648867 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:08PM (#56347069) Homepage Journal

    use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy

    Isn't that, like, LITERALLY their entire job and purpose to exist?

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Re T: "use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy" -- Isn't that, like, LITERALLY their entire job and purpose to exist?

      He's killing SNL and Onion writer jobs by delivering their material verbatim.

    • I was going to post exactly this. I can't see how this could possibly cause "tremendous loss to the U.S."!
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:08PM (#56347071) Journal

    Saying a conglomerate doesn't pay enough taxes is Republican Sacrilege. GOP needs to get the message to Fox so they can tell him to STFU on TV, like they did on gun control when he wandered off script.

  • 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!

    So, using the company intended to deliver parcels to do Amazon deliveries is somehow destroying America.

    Hot take: Trump might not be very business-savvy after all.

  • Pot, meet Kettle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:09PM (#56347085)

    Hasn't Trump been the master of manipulating the tax code to his own benefit? Didn't he say during one of the debates that not paying taxes for multiple years, because of a bankruptcy filing, made him "smart"?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 )

      The only public tax return we have from Trump shows he paid about $38 million in taxes at least one year. [fortune.com]

      Not paying taxes after a bankruptcy is smart because then you are following the tax law which allows deductions for things like that. Not doing so would indeed be the opposite of smart: AKA dumb, which is what you are for implying taking deductions is not smart...

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:12PM (#56347113) Homepage

    they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments

    Blame late-stage capitalisms race to the bottom on the state level. Without tax reform states like georgia, indiana, and missouri are basically 25-50 year shelters where companies set up shop, import H1B stem labor, churn out private profit, and leave with a superfund site to be cleaned up by taxpayers. you might get a high-rise with a name on it, or a city park/mural dedicated to the companies $important_figure or two, but none of that does anything to patch roads or fund schools.

    use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.)

    Blame...your own party. Republicans have been trying to deliver the killing blow to the USPS for 40 years. unable to sink it with future debt and price control, and unable to privatize it because private industries dont want the job, they've incentivised public private partnerships where companies like UPS hand-off to local carriers for last mile delivery. since every system uses barcodes and tracking exclusive to their supply chain systems, the USPS doesnt have any real tracking data to begin with and must handle these packages in a largely manual fashion. The whole end result is a package that takes 20 days to reach its destination half crushed with 40 labels and no customer savings. but hey! we "privatized" the post office!

    and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!

    the 90s called and they want their destructive business practices back. Wal-Mart started this trend by bankrupting suppliers into offering products with no profit margin (vlasic pickle for example.) Fast forward and theres a wal-wart on every street corner offering cut-rate oil changes and flavourless apples the size of softballs for pennies. I mean, surely you didnt snore through the 20 years it took for a single american company to bankrupt every small business in the midwest just to show up and bitch about Amazon, did you?

  • Trump is not wrong on effects of Amazon and also its local tax-dodging, but his objections are tainted by his very clear political motivation. He is after Bezos as a revenge for The Washington Post coverage.
    • I disagree. Trump *benefits* from WaPo attacks because WaPo is seen as elitist, what better proof to your base that you're doing the right thing than when a "swamp-supporting" newspaper is upset with you.

      Rather, in my opinion, Trump is a traditionalist (despite being socially fairly liberal), and he sees Amazon as attacking the American traditional way of life, hurting the working and middle class and so on. That attitude has been a pattern of his since the 80s. I don't know that Amazon can be stopped, and

  • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:14PM (#56347139) Homepage

    This isn't about Amazon's business practices. This is about Donald Trump attacking the Washington Post, a news outlet that reports true but unflattering things about the President.

    I mean, come on. There is literally no question why Trump has chosen Amazon as one of his favorite bugbears. Trump's well-known "disdain" for Jeff Bezos and WaPo is the lede, not an aside buried under the fold.

    Trump is going after an entire corporation simply because a part of it has the sheer temerity to say things about him that he doesn't like.

  • winners and losers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by orgelspieler ( 865795 ) <w0lfie@ma c . com> on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:20PM (#56347189) Journal

    I thought Republicans don't believe in the government picking winners and losers?

    There is so much wrong with this tweet, and the entire line of thought. There are thousands of mom and pop places that consider Amazon a priceless tool in keeping their own costs down. Also, they are one of USPS biggest customers, and package delivery revenues are up. The reason USPS is losing billions has nothing to do with Amazon, and everything to do with first class mail and pension legal requirements. Most (all?) people pay sales tax on Amazon purchases these days, too, so a notion of an additional Internet tax is just stupid.

    It's almost like everything Trump tweets is exactly wrong. SAD!

  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:23PM (#56347215) Journal
    1. Since when is it the personal job of a sitting POTUS to 'rein in' any legitimate U.S. based business, regardless of size?
    2. Considering Donald Trump's personality, as he demonstrates it to be, I find it much more credible an idea that what he's really all upset about is the fact that Amazon/Jeff Bezos is orders of magnitude more successful a businessman than he is, and Trump is throwing one of his typical temper-tantrums over that fact.
    3. Trump claims to want to 'make America great again', and bring back jobs for American citizens from overseas. However intentionally damaging Amazon, who employs at least 341,000 people, will likely cause some of those people to lose their jobs; how is that going to make us 'great again'? (It won't)
    4. Meanwhile, the guy who allegedly knows 'The Art of the Deal', and claims to be such a successful businessman, can't even keep things coherent in his own Cabinet, hiring and firing people left and right at a furious pace, and appointing cronies and yes-(wo)men to top positions instead of the people who would be best for the Country as a whole; how the actual fuck can you run the government of ostensibly the most powerful Country in the free world when there is no consistency whatsoever to the people who are making it run?

    Seriously, folks, all poking the Trump supporters with a stick aside: this clown has got to go, before he completely wrecks this country.
    Of course even if he left office today, it'll still likely take a full decade to repair the damage done to everything -- and we'd be stuck with Mike Pence, which in significant ways would be orders of magnitude worse. Can we just all wish real hard that a meteor falls from the sky and kills them all at the same time?
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:26PM (#56347245)
    because they keep getting bought up in Bain Capital style leveraged buy-outs and then saddled with debt that prevents them from adequately competing with Amazon. To cut costs they turn their stores into dirty little warehouses. This is what happened to Toys R Us. And they were one of the lucky ones. They survived 13 years before the debt crushed them.

    If Trump doesn't like the post office subsidizing Amazon there's a really, really easy solution: raise the rates. Problem solved. And if he doesn't like how they treat their workers he could raise federal minimum wage and drop the work week to 30/week before overtime kicked in. The latter might require congress to act but it's popular enough that if he'd stop attacking them on Twitter and take congress to task for not doing anything for the working man he'd have it done in a week. Especially if he did it right before mid-terms.

    But this is all just a distraction. And an political attack on a company run by people that don't particularly like him. It'd be funny watching to rich and powerful guys in a pissing match if their actions didn't effect me so drastically.
  • Trump has been silent about other CEOs who he agrees with more than Bezos. Take for example Eddie Lampert who has been running Sears / KMart into the ground. They have been losing money constantly while doing nothing to reward employees or even maintain their stores. Nearly every month they announce more store closures. But Lampert's golden parachute just keeps getting better and better - he's first in line to cash out from Sears when he finally pulls the plug due to the special loans he's issued to them from his own funds.

    When Sears finally goes kaput the job losses will vastly outnumber the largest number of coal miners we've had in this country in the past 100 years, and they are distributed across the country. These aren't just high school and college kids working retail until they can find a steady job either; retail at Sears used to be a steady job with a career path. Now every town has lost a Sears, a KMart, or both in the past 5-10 years. All that's left of it is a real estate firm now.

    Yeah, I know I'll be down-modded into oblivion on this. Go ahead. If you are too cowardly to reply to ahead and hit me with "offtopic" and "overrated".
  • Is the Republican stable genius proposing to raise taxes and tighten tax laws on corporations? Is he going to reign in tax avoidance practices? I wonder what his party think of this?
  • lolwut? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Desler ( 1608317 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:43PM (#56347455)

    A trickle-downer who signed a huge tax giveaway to corporations is complaining that a corporation doesn’t pay enough taxes? Haha what?

    Don’t the trickle-downers always tell us that companies like Amazon, etc. paying more in taxes mean less jobs? So other than being butthurt over the Washington Post, shouldn’t Trump be glad that this “job creator” is only paying the bare minimum taxes to maximize hiring and shareholder return?

    Hypocrisy. Thy name is Trump.

  • by ZipprHead ( 106133 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:44PM (#56347469) Homepage

    Wait, wut?

    Trump Brags About Not Paying Taxes: "That Makes Me Smart"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBZR1-onmAo

  • by mnemotronic ( 586021 ) <mnemotronic.gmail@com> on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:46PM (#56347497) Homepage Journal
    Trump is good at misdirection and baiting the media and the public-at-large. When he says "look over here at this naughty Amazon", he's not serious; he's really trying to divert attention from some fjnork-up someplace else.
  • by lbmouse ( 473316 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @01:01PM (#56347631) Homepage
    Then why is Amazon now evil for following the law?
  • Lawsuit? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @04:23PM (#56349113)
    IANAL, but isn't deliberately publicly attacking and lying about a company in a deliberate attempt to drive down the stock price actionable in court as "tortious interference"? I.e., can't Trump be sued for as much as he has driven the market cap down, which is far more money than he has?

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