Politics: What's Driving Trump's Attacks on Amazon? It's Personal - - PressFrom - US

Politics What's Driving Trump's Attacks on Amazon? It's Personal

15:15  07 april  2018
15:15  07 april  2018 Source:   online.wsj.com

Trump slams Amazon: 'They pay little or no taxes to state & local governments'

  Trump slams Amazon: 'They pay little or no taxes to state & local governments' President Donald Trump went after Amazon in a tweet, a day after a report saying he was "obsessed" with the company tanked the online retailer's shares."Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & 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!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

It ’ s Personal . President’ s attacks on e-commerce company stem from its CEO Jeff Bezos’ s ownership of the Washington Post, which Trump says covers him unfairly, say people close to the White House.

WASHINGTON — President Trump escalated his attack on Amazon on Thursday, saying in an Still, Mr. Trump ’ s willingness to again single out Amazon and characterize it as a tax cheat and a Facebook is under attack in Washington for its handling of personal data and the social network’ s

Jeff Bezos, Donald J. Trump are posing for a picture © Provided by The Wall Street Journal.

Early in President Donald Trump’s term, when White House officials heard him complain vociferously about Amazon.com Inc. they arranged private briefings in the Oval Office to make sure that he would talk knowledgeably about the company.

Gary Cohn, his top economic adviser, and other officials gave PowerPoint presentations and briefing papers they believed debunked his concerns that Amazon was dodging taxes and exploiting the U.S. Postal Service.

It made little difference. Mr. Trump persisted in attacks that ran counter to the material they had showed him.

Amazon's Washington influence machine built to withstand Trump's attacks

  Amazon's Washington influence machine built to withstand Trump's attacks Between lobbying, campaign contributions and positioning itself as engaged on policy issues like job creation, Amazon.com has long courted a positive relationship with both the White House and Congress that will help it withstand the latest attack from U.S. President Donald Trump. The company was likely not surprised when Trump criticized it via a post on Twitter on Thursday; he has slammed it in a similar manner previously. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's decision to purchase The Washington Post has also stoked Trump's ire.

Trump ’ s obsession with Amazon probably has more to do with personal grudge than principle, but its power should nonetheless be checked. And it ’ s not because he loves online shopping. “I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state

Trump ’ s War with Amazon (and The Washington Post) Is Personal . With the West Wing finally calm, Trump is contemplating a multi-front Now, according to four sources close to the White House, Trump is discussing ways to escalate his Twitter attacks on Amazon to further damage the company.

“It’s not the narrative he wants,” one person familiar with the matter said of the White House briefings.  “He clearly didn’t find it persuasive because he keeps saying it’s untrue.”

In the past week, the president has turned what were sporadic and often private criticisms into a sustained volley of tweets against the company, often causing stock market fluctuations.

Fueling Mr. Trump’s ire is not so much Amazon, the online giant that is revamping the retail industry, but the company’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, people close to the White House say.

Get a daily guide to the best stories in The Wall Street Journal from Editor in Chief Gerard Baker, delivered right to your inbox.

Amazon’s Music Storage service will remove your MP3 files on April 30th

  Amazon’s Music Storage service will remove your MP3 files on April 30th We’ve known since last year that Amazon Music was planning to shut down its dedicated cloud music locker. Now, we have a date for when that process will begin. In an email to Amazon Music users, the company says uploaded songs will be removed from a user’s library on April 30th, 2018. You can however keep any music in the cloud by proactively going to your Music Settings and clicking the “Keep my songs” button.Back in December, Amazon stopped letting users upload new tracks to Music Storage, which holds up to 250 songs for free.

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President Donald Trump has recently ramped up his attacks against Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos for not paying enough in local and state taxes. While there are plenty of problems with the president’ s criticism, it looks as if hypocrisy might be a new one.

Mr. Trump sees Mr. Bezos’s hand in newspaper coverage he dislikes and is lashing out at Amazon as a proxy, these people said.

A Post spokeswoman, asked for a response, referred to quotes from the paper’s leadership in a story published Thursday. In that piece, publisher Frederick J. Ryan Jr. said that Mr. Bezos has “never proposed a story.”

“Jeff has never intervened in a story. He’s never critiqued a story. He’s not directed or proposed editorials or endorsements,” Mr. Ryan said.

Amazon declined to comment. But the company says it collects sales taxes on its own inventory in all 45 states that have this type of tax and has voluntarily started collecting taxes in some municipalities. Many small businesses selling products on Amazon’s site don’t collect sales taxes outside of the states where they are based.

Still, the president stepped up his attack on Thursday, tweeting about the company and telling reporters aboard an Air Force One flight home from West Virginia: “Amazon is just not on an even playing field. They have a tremendous lobbying effort, in addition to having the Washington Post, which is, as far as I’m concerned, another lobbyist.”

Trump: Amazon 'scam' costing Postal Service 'billions'

  Trump: Amazon 'scam' costing Postal Service 'billions' President Trump lashed out at Amazon on Saturday, accusing the retail giant of scamming the U.S. Postal Service over shipping costs and evading taxes."While we are on the subject, it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon," Trump tweeted, following up on a tweet earlier this week that accused Amazon of "putting many thousands of retailers out of business.

So, what do you think about President Trump ' s war on Amazon ? Are we all Amazon shareholders here? In a way, it ' s that parcel and package delivery business that' s actually been a growth driver for USPS. And that' s driven , of course, by Amazon and the plethora of e-commerce activity we're seeing.

But Mr. Trump is unique in singling out individual companies for ridicule with regularity. And rarely have presidents done so because of a personal pique Mr. Trump has had no such reticence. In his most recent attacks on Amazon , he has accused the company of using the United States Postal Service

“Look at the sales tax situation,” Mr. Trump added, suggesting the company doesn’t pay its fair share of them.

Mr. Trump’s most recent statements prompted White House aides to go back to him this week to tell him his Amazon critique might be “missing the point,” a White House official said. In response, Mr. Trump has been “digging in,” this person said.

In past briefings, Mr. Trump’s advisers have told him how Amazon pays taxes, the person familiar with the matter said.

The president’s advisers similarly have presented financial data that shows the Postal Service’s financial woes are being caused by forces other than Amazon: notably that people are sending far fewer letters.

The Postal Service has suffered a decline in revenue from first class mail delivery of about 7% in the fiscal year that ended in November. Meantime, it has had strong growth in package delivery, the category that would account for Amazon and many other online retailers, with revenue growing 11% during the same fiscal year to November.

Mr. Trump’s disdain for the media isn’t limited to the Post. He also routinely denounces the New York Times, CNN and other outlets as “fake news.”

Trump's campaign regularly bought office supplies from Amazon

  Trump's campaign regularly bought office supplies from Amazon President Trump's campaign spent more than $150,000 on office supplies through Amazon in 2015 and 2016.But Mr. Trump's presidential campaign relied on Amazon for office supplies regularly, spending $158,498.41 in 379 transactions labeled as office supply purchases in 2015 and 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records reviewed by CBS News. In the average transaction, Mr. Trump's campaign spent $418.20, and the most the campaign spent in a single transaction was $3,890. The Donald J. Trump for President committee continued to use Amazon well after the election, spending more than $2,000 in 2017, FEC records show.

Trump ’ s obsession with Bezos is cutting the value of US tech stocks – and the source of his irritation is more than just ‘an uneven playing field’. Together they are locked in a personal feud that is shaving billions off the value of US tech stocks. But is Donald Trump ’ s onslaught against Amazon chief Jeff

Why Does Trump Keep Attacking Amazon ? President Trump may have earnest reasons for his onslaught against Amazon , which he renewed Thursday morning on Twitter. But it ’ s the latest case where Trump ’ s previous statements suggest he has more personal , and dangerous, motives than he

The president’s most recent flurry of tweets targeting Amazon has coincided with publication of Washington Post stories he dislikes.

Over the past week, Mr. Trump has privately complained about two particular Post stories, White House aides and others said: a March 30 article that documented problems at a White House office that vets political appointees and another the following day that depicted Mr. Trump acting more independently of chief of staff John Kelly and other “moderating forces.”

During a long weekend at his home at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump complained to his staff about the latter story, a White House official said. The president said it didn’t capture how he is growing more comfortable in the job.

The president had targeted Amazon the day before the first of the two stories appeared, and then sent off five more anti-Amazon tweets through Thursday, sprinkling in criticism of the “Fake News Washington Post.”

Privately, Mr. Trump has “talked about the fact that the Washington Post is solely owned by Jeff Bezos and he [Mr. Bezos] is using that same entity to take on the president and the administration,” said one person who talks to Mr. Trump regularly.

Another person close to the White House said: “Every time there was a bad story it [Amazon] would come up.”

Trump: Post Office loses a 'fortune' on Amazon deliveries

  Trump: Post Office loses a 'fortune' on Amazon deliveries President Trump in a tweet on Monday pushed back against those who say the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) profits from Amazon shipments, saying it instead is losing a "fortune." Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon. THEY LOSE A FORTUNE, and this will be changed. Also, our fully tax paying retailers are closing stores all over the country...not a level playing field!- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2018Trump's tweet is the latest in a series of attacks on Amazon."While we are on the subject, it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.

It ’ s no secret Trump hates Amazon , and that’ s because unlike his personal story of being born into wealth and privilege, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was born to a teenage While we are on the subject, it is reported that the U. S . Post Office will lose .50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon .

U. S . President Donald Trump launched his second attack in a week on Amazon .com Inc on Saturday, accusing the world' s biggest online retailer of Trump ’ s comments on Twitter reiterated criticisms he made on Thursday about the company. He may have been prompted by a report from news website

Once Mr. Trump identifies a foe, he attacks, confidants said.

Asked about the president and Mr. Bezos, Tom Barrack, a longtime friend of Mr. Trump, said: “The president’s view is, ‘You want to play with me in the sandbox, then you better put on your helmet, pack a lunch and bring your flashlight.’”

What’s not clear is whether Mr. Trump will take actions that would harm Amazon’s business interests.

The company is now vying for a U.S. defense contract potentially worth $10 billion to shift computer services from mainframes to the cloud.

The contract came up in conversation at a private dinner in the White House with Peter Thiel, the billionaire investor, who brought along Oracle Corp. co-CEO Safra Catz, an Amazon rival, a White House official said.

Before the Tuesday dinner, aides privately briefed Mr. Trump and told him Ms. Catz might want to talk to him about the defense contract. He was advised not to engage, but rather to tell her the contract was up to the Defense Department.

Ms. Catz brought the matter up, saying the Pentagon’s process seemed to favor Amazon. Mr. Trump replied that the contract wasn’t up to him but would be awarded by department officials, the White House official said.

Yet in his talk with reporters aboard the plane, Mr. Trump suggested some form of action against Amazon may be taken but didn’t specify what it would address.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “The post office is not doing well with Amazon. … The playing field has to be leveled.”

Write to Peter Nicholas at peter.nicholas@wsj.com

Trump launches task force to evaluate Postal Service operations .
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will chair the panel examining how the Postal Service is affected by the package delivery market, White House announces.Trump said in an executive order that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin would chair the panel, which will assess how the Postal Service is affected by the package delivery market and declining use of mail as well as examine its business model and role in the U.S. economy.

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