Donald Trump launches fresh attack on Amazon, Washington Post | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 01.04.2018
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Donald Trump launches fresh attack on Amazon, Washington Post

The president has complained that the US Postal Service loses "billions of dollars" delivering packages for Amazon. He also took aim at the internet retailer's boss for his ownership of the influential Washington Post.

US President Donald Trump has again taken aim at e-commerce giant Amazon, denouncing its business deal with the US Postal Service as a money-losing agreement.

"The US Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars [sic]," Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday.

He cited figures that suggested that if the post office "increased its parcel rates, Amazon's shipping costs would rise by $2.6 Billion [sic]."

Trump said: "This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!"

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The president also challenged The Washington Post, which Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos also owns, saying the respected newspaper should register as a lobbyist.

Read more: Amazon CEO knocks Microsoft founder Bill Gates off Forbes list top spot

Trump has previously labeled the newspaper "fake news" after it reported unfavorable developments during his campaign and presidency.

The Washington Post won a Pulitzer Prize last year for its critical investigation of Trump's donations to charities.

The comments were the second time Trump has complained about Amazon's business model in a week. On Thursday, he tweeted that the internet retailer uses the post office as its "delivery boy" and alleged that the firm pays "little or no taxes" to state and local governments.

Read more: Amazon delivery drivers now let themselves into your home

The comments have renewed concerns that Amazon could face scrutiny by antitrust regulators, and sent the e-commerce giant's shares down 3.3 percent late last week, knocking $24 billion (€19.5 billion) off the company's market value.

Previously, Trump has complained that Amazon has grown at the expense of traditional retailers and small shops, which must pay state and local sales taxes in their jurisdictions.

A US Postal Service van making deliveries in Georgia (picture-alliance/dpa)

The US Postal Service has seen large growth in packages and shipping, but has made losses elsewhere for several years

Tax obligations changing

Amazon was exempt from those taxes for years because it had no physical presence in individual states, but it now pays taxes in the states that levy them.

Read more: Amazon: 'Delivery time from hours to minutes'

US media and news agencies have responded to Trump's criticism with evidence that the US Postal Service's package delivery has not been responsible for the large losses the corporation has incurred over the past decade.

Rather, the Postal Service has enjoyed double-digit increases in revenue from delivering packages, but that hasn't been enough to offset pension and health care costs as well as declines in first-class letters and marketing mail, The Associated Press reported.

As well as the post office, Amazon uses FedEx, UPS and other services, and recently announced it would build its own worldwide air cargo hub near Cincinnati, Ohio.

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mm/cmk (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters) 

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