Trump again attacks Amazon, claiming ‘Post Office scam’ – CNET

President Trump and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway Joint Press Conference

Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, have been frequent targets of the president.


Only two days after attacking Amazon’s business practices via Twitter, President Donald Trump is at it again.

On Saturday morning, Trump sent off a pair of tweets calling Amazon’s use of the US Postal Service a “scam” and swiping at the company’s lobbying efforts.

Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, have been frequent targets of Trump’s attacks, with the president arguing that the company isn’t paying its fair share in state and local taxes and is gaining an unfair advantage by using the US Postal Service to deliver its packages. Trump is widely seen as targeting the company because Bezos owns The Washington Post, which has reported critically on the president.

Trump on Saturday said the US Postal Service is losing an average of $1.50 for every package it delivers for Amazon, amounting to billions of dollars. He may have been referring to a widely circulated Citigroup report from last year that said the Postal Service would need to charge 50 percent more for packages to cover all its costs. “This Post Office scam must stop,” Trump tweeted.

Amazon, along with other e-commerce shippers, routinely uses the Postal Service for last-mile deliveries, called “postal injections.” It sends packages to local post offices, which can deliver items more cheaply because the Postal Service sends mail carriers to every address already.

Bigger companies are usually the only ones with the logistics capabilities to do postal injections, and the practice does save them money. Some argue that the practice essentially acts as a government subsidy for Amazon and other shippers. Others say Amazon, one of the Postal Service’s biggest customers, is a benefit for the agency.

Regardless, it’s misleading for the president to call postal injections “a scam.” Additionally, Trump’s previous assertions that Amazon pays little to nothing in state and local taxes are inaccurate.

Trump on Saturday also mentioned that Amazon is amping up its lobbying spending, which is true. But he said The Washington Post is part of that lobbying operation and should register as such. The Post is a news publication and is not directly involved in lobbying for Amazon.

The Post didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but in a story about the tweets Saturday, it pointed to a piece it ran Friday about the legal inquiries into the Trump Organization’s finances.

Despite continued saber-rattling against Amazon, Trump has yet to take direct action against the company, and his staff said this week that the White House has no current plans to do so. Meanwhile, the general public continues to view Amazon as one of the most reputable companies in the US.

Amazon declined to comment for this story. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

First published March 31, 7:04 a.m. PT.
Update, 7:45 a.m.: Adds more background.

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