shares to fall nearly 5% and wiped out more than $31B in shareholder value in the process.

Amazon did not initially collect state sales taxes when it began selling books online in 1995. Toys R Us and other retailers that have filed for bankruptcy or gone out of business have said that Amazon's low prices were hard to compete with.

"And as a result, companies like Amazon can buy and sell good without having to pay basic retail taxes that your stores and your convenience stores and all the folks around, when you walk out of the studio over there and grab something, you have to pay".

Another administration official confirmed to Reuters that Trump has been complaining about Amazon in private, believing the company has become too powerful.

A Supreme Court ruling favouring South Dakota could funnel up to $13 billion (£9.3 billion) annually of new tax revenues into the coffers of affected US states, according to a 2017 federal government report.


He has also criticized The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, lumping it into the "fake news" category of media.

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.

It's well established that the online retail giant has grown at the expense of brick-and-mortar shops. "Towns, cities and states throughout the USA are being hurt - many jobs being lost!"

Amazon's warehouses and other facilities require lots of jobs, which is a big reason why states and local governments have given the company generous tax breaks and other perks.

Analysts at Stifel said the president's tweets on the topics does not seem "detrimental to Amazon".

It's unclear what that obsession might translate to should Trump try to aim the powers of the executive branch at the company.


What about Donald Trump's claim that Amazon is a burden on the United States postal system? At one point, he referred to the paper as "Amazon Washington Post".

Sources say Amazon had cut ties from the lobbying firms last Friday and in their place hired Paul Brathwaite of Federal Street Strategies LLC and Josh Holly of Holly Strategies Inc, both of whom have previously worked as outside lobbyists for Airbnb Inc and Oracle. The Post Office lost $2.7 billion previous year, but "Shipping and packages were a rare bright spot for USPS in 2017, one of two sub-categories of mail for which revenue increased, rather than declined", according to Quartz. Partly because of the large volume of packages it sends, Amazon gets discounted shipping rates from the post office. The postal service's contract with Amazon must be approved by regulators and must generate a profit for the service. The most recent year's losses of $2.7 billion are down from more than $5 billion in each of the prior two fiscal years.

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

There has been talk in Washington of taxing online commerce more.

Trump's claim that Amazon is to blame for the U.S. Postal Service's woes dates back to December, when he said via Twitter that Amazon's deal, which includes Sunday delivery via the regular mail, was making it "richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer".


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