What to know about Trump’s escalating fight with Amazon

The president's dispute with Amazon reached a new level of tension this week, when Trump ordered a review of the finances of the US Postal Service. UU But the attacks seem to scale from here. Here is a brief summary of the fight.

Trump Tweets

Trump has never been silent about his dislike for Amazon. His tweets about the company go back years. In December of 2017, I was tweeting that Amazon was making the Postal Service "dumbest and poorest".

But the frequency of the attacks seemed to increase recently on Twitter after a report by Axios Trump was "obsessed " with the company. Shortly after the report was published, Trump again pointed to the company, accusing it of paying very little in taxes, using the Postal Service as a "delivery person" and costing the country money.

In the following days, he launched similar complaints about an alleged "scam" and tried to link the e-commerce giant with Jeff Bezos, who he was the owner Washington Post .

Amazon and the Postal Service

It is true that the Postal Service has serious financial obstacles, since Americans are sending less paper mail, even when increases in package delivery, where Amazon contributes, offset some of those losses.

Some of Trump's claims about the company are partially true, although largely misleading. Amazon has faced complaints for years about how it collects state and local taxes. After long disputes over how online sales should be taxed, Amazon began collecting sales taxes last year in each state with a law on the books. (Meanwhile, cities have complained that they were excluded). However, in most states, the company still does not collect taxes on behalf of sellers in its third-party market platform. The stepped collection system has become another point of contention.

Trump's main complaint, however, is that the Postal Service is giving Amazon too good treatment at the time of delivery. There is, one might say, a point just buried in the idea. The Postal Service establishes agreements with important clients, and although we do not know the details of Amazon's tariffs, some analysts have suggested that companies could charge more. When Trump writes that the Postal Service "will lose" $ 1.50 per package, it seems to be referring to an analyst's report and Wall Street Journal opinion article (from an author linked to FedEx) that suggested the USPS package the business was operating below the "true" cost of some expenses. (When Trump cited the analyst's report, the author explained that the report said that the packages were sent below those costs in general, not due specifically to Amazon's deals, and that the figure was actually $ 1.46.) [19659016] The Postal Service called it an image of its package business, a bright spot in its finances, "imprecise". The Postal Service is required by law to charge at least an equilibrium rate in its parcel deliveries.

Escalation

Trump has argued without evidence that The Washington Post is involved in attacks on him in the name of Bezos, who once offered to throw Trump into space in a rocket. Trump's dispute with Amazon is often seen as a proxy war in Bezos and the Post . Earlier this month, Vanity Fair reported that Trump, despising advisors, was considering several ways he could go after the company, encouraging statewide investigations to cancel a major cloud computing contract of the government.

Instead, Trump apparently chose to issue the executive order on Thursday. The address does not mention Amazon by name, but it seems likely that the decision was driven by the company. The order creates a working group "to evaluate the operations and finances of the USPS". The work team has 120 days to provide findings and recommendations.

What that could mean for Amazon will be clarified later, and it will also take some time to see if Trump puts more pressure on re-evaluating government links with the company.