U.S. President Donald Trump has set his sights on global online retailing giant Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos. In a fiery tweet March 23, President Trump accused Amazon for being remiss in its payment of taxes and for putting brick- and- mortar retailers out of business:
“I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state and 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!”
The President and Bezos have had a tumultuous past. In 2013, Bezos acquired The Washington Post for $250 Million. At a time when the Internet had become the primary source of information, the Washington Post has continued to remain profitable after being acquired by Bezos.
President Trump has accused Bezos of using the 145 year old publication to promote his globalist and political agendas. The Washington Post has been highly critical of President Trump and Bezos once tweeted he would like to send the president to outer space.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would not confirm if the President is indeed planning to file charges against Amazon:
“We have no announcements and no specific policies or actions that we are currently pushing forward or considering taking. The president has said many times before he’s always looking to create a level playing field for all businesses and this is no different.”
Since 2014, several of the United States’ largest brick- and- mortar retailers have been closing down locations or have shut down business completely. These retailers include Barnes & Nobel, Abercrombie and Fitch, Toys ‘r’ Us, Radio Shack, JC Penny, Sears, Macy’s, The Limited and Staples.
Market analysts point to the rise of ecommerce as one of the primary reasons traditional retailers have become unprofitable. Barnes & Nobel was one of the first retailers that succumbed to the growth of Amazon.
In 2012, Amazon which started out as an online bookstore accounted for 44% of total book sales in the United States. Most of these sales came at the expense of Barnes & Nobel.
Amazon has 140 fulfilment centers in the United States which package and arranges delivery of its merchandise. It also has global offices in China, Australia and in different cities throughout Europe.
The company has been accused of providing inhospitable working conditions for its workers in the various warehouses. Not every country has been laid down the red carpet for Amazon. It was met with criticism and resistance from Australia when it was announced the online giant was setting up shop in 2017.
Amazon shares fell by 5% after President Trump’s tweet.