Amazon loses $31B after Trump targets them on Twitter over tax practices

Amazon shares slump as Trump goes after the retail giant

Do his criticisms ring true?

The online retailer has been continuously adding products which are ready to be shipped for next day or two day deliveries.

On Wednesday, shares of the largest US online retailer tumbled after a report that Trump might be looking for ways to turn his threats into action. "The Post Office arguably needs Amazon more than Amazon needs the Post Office".

Trump's previous suggestions of anti-competitive behavior by Amazon tapped into criticism from watchdogs and academics that the company, and fellow technology giants like Google and Facebook, could abuse their growing scale and reach. Chicago has offered at least $2 billion.

"'If this was five years ago, the tweet would be making a very compelling point, ' said Carl Davis, the research director of the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy".

The service has a decade-long string of fiscal net losses, which has led to more than $120 billion in unfunded liabilities, mostly retirement health and pension benefits. Amazon has acknowledged in the past that it has an arrangement with the Postal Service, but it has refuted the idea that its shipments are being subsidized by the agency.

"We're trying to pass reform legislation that will allow USPS to compete without the multi-billion dollar burden imposed on it by Congress in 2006", Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., a member of the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement to USA TODAY.

Donald Trump attacks coincided with calls from outside groups who insist on inspections because Amazon has grown too much and should be investigated for non-competitive practices.

President Trump responded to the article on Twitter. "The President has expressed his concerns with Amazon".

The Postal Service and Amazon declined comment on their business relationship. There is an argument that the rise of Amazon has actually benefitted the postal service.

Amazon, among tech companies, is Trump's favorite target, and not just for package delivery.

The tweet came after Axios reported Wednesday that Trump was "obsessed" with figuring out a way to decrease Amazon's influence through anti-trust law. Amazon's stock, which is up more than 65 percent in the last 12 months, rose 1 percent to close at $1,447.34 Thursday.

Amazon's been paying taxes in California since 2012, and charged customers in all other states, according to the New York Times.

For a time, many people selling things on Amazon would set themselves up in states with little or no state income tax, and then declare that all the income they earned in the USA should be taxed as though it was from there, regardless of where the buyer was from.

States can not collect taxes from mail order or online sales from firms without a physical presence in that state, according to a Supreme Court ruling in 1992. Last year, the president blasted the company for doing damage to "tax paying retailers".

Analysts at Stifel said the president's tweets on the topics does not seem "detrimental to Amazon". The online retail giant clearly leverages many tools to keep the tax man at bay.

The White House is looking at the idea of an internet sales tax.

Hassett focused on the fact that Amazon does not collect the taxes on sales made by third-party vendors, which is estimated to be about half of its total sales.

"If there is a law that regulates how you tax third-party sellers, it's going to apply to everyone and Amazon's position will remain the same", said Steve Chiavarone, a portfolio manager at Federated Investors.

Following the release of the article, the White House was asked if there is a plan to target Amazon but Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said no said specific policies were now being considered. "Towns, cities, and states throughout the USA are being hurt - many jobs being lost!", Trump had tweeted at that time.

Amazon is a great American company, and CEO Jeff Bezos a great American entrepreneur. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, an outlet Trump has repeatedly derided as "phony" and "fake news".

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