Amazon is causing “great damage to tax paying retailers,” Trump said in a Twitter post Wednesday, causing stocks in the online retailer to fall.
“Towns, cities and countries throughout the U.S. are being hurt – many jobs being lost! ” Trump said in the tweet.
Trump’s reference to “ damage” echoes chatter in Washington and circles that Amazon and other technology companies may have become too large and powerful. Apple Inc.. Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc. and Amazon will be the largest companies in the world by market cap and dominate many facets of everyday life. Some critics have even suggested that they should be broken up.
Throughout the presidential campaign, Trump claimed Amazon was a monopoly that he would go after for antitrust offenses if he were elected. Amazon takes about 70 percent of all e-book sales and 30 percent of all U.S. e-commerce. “Believe me, if I become president, do they have problems. They’re likely to have such problems,” Trump said in February 2016. In the U.S. it isn’t illegal to have a big market share.
In June, Amazon agreed to buy Whole Foods Market Inc.. Experts and analysts have largely dismissed antitrust threats for the planet’s biggest online retailer, though a U.S. lawmaker has called for hearings on the proposed deal to think about its ramifications for shoppers and employees.
While it’s unclear what prompted Trump’s tweet, The Washington Post ran a scathing editorial about Trump in the newspaper Wednesday, and there were also pro-tax reform commercials that ran on early morning talk shows. Amazon’s shares fell less than 1 percent to $975.19 at 10:18 a.m. in New York.
Trump’s tweet about jobs landss history. Brick-and-mortar chains apparel sellers, are suffering from sluggish mall visitors and an exodus of shoppers to e-commerce.
A rash of chains have filed for bankruptcy this year, such as Payless Inc., Gymboree and HHGregg Inc. and RadioShack. And the biggest department-store companies, such as Macy’s Inc., Sears Holdings Corp. and J.C. Penney Co., are shuttering countless places. The complete number of store closings is expected to hit a record in the U.S. this season, with Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Christian Buss estimating that the number could exceed 8,000.
On the other hand, Amazon is hiring . The online behemoth has vowed to hire over 100,000 employees by 2018 and has been holding job fairs all around the U.S.. In some cases, fired department store employees are ending up at Amazon fulfillment centers.
In his tweet, Trump also hammered Amazon again on tax-related allegations. It’s unclear since the company collects sales tax exactly what he means. There is one loophole Shoppers don’t have to pay sales tax when they buy from one of Amazon’s many vendors. Such sales constitute about half of the company’s volume.
Trump’s relationship with Corporate America has frayed since his inauguration and several company executives resigned this week from a business council to protest the president’s answer to the demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia.
However, Trump has often taken particular aim at Amazon and the Washington Post, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, for its coverage. In June, the president posted a tweet attacking “AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying net taxes. ”
In December 2015, Trump also described the Washington Post as a tax shelter that Bezos uses to keep Amazon’. Without these agreements, Trump argued, Amazon’s inventory would “crumble like a paper bag. ” Bezos actually owns the Washington Post via a holding company separate from Amazon. Amazon didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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Amazon has been combating a number of politicians from both the U.S. and Europe about its stance on taxation. In the U.S., Amazon formerly fought to just collect sales taxes for purchases in states in which it doesn’t have a physical existence. It collects sales tax and has a legion of distribution centers.
The U.S. retailer is currently fighting the European Union over its own tax bill, while in March it won a $1.5 billion tax dispute with the IRS.
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