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Trump says US subsidizes Amazon for shipping

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the United States is subsidizing Amazon.com and that the online retailer must pay more to ship its products through the nation’s postal agency.

Trump, citing an unnamed report, told reporters at the White House that the U.S. Postal Service “delivers packages for Amazon at a very low rate,” adding: “If you look at the cost that we’re subsidizing, we’re giving a subsidy to Amazon.”

Trump escalates attack on Amazon, slams it on taxes, shipping

Earlier, Trump blasted the mega-retailer with a list of complaints, a day after news website Axios reported that Trump wants to rein in the company’s growing power using federal antitrust laws, causing its shares to fall almost 5 percent.

“I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. 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 said in a post on Twitter early on Thursday.

Trump has talked about using antitrust law to “go after” the company because he is worried about mom-and-pop retailers being put out of business by Amazon, Axios reported, citing five sources it said had discussed the issue with him.

Trump also wanted to change Amazon’s tax treatment, the Axios report said, an issue the president raised publicly last year when he called for an internet tax for online retailers, even though Amazon already collects sales tax on items it sells direct to customers.

“The president has said many times before he’s always looking to create a level playing field for all businesses and this is no different,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, when asked about the Axios report. “He’s always going to look at different ways, but there aren’t any specific policies on the table at this time.”

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