Trump Attacks Amazon, Saying It Does Not Pay Enough Taxes – New York Times


Mr. Trump has repeatedly accused Mr. Bezos of using The Post as a tool to intimidate opponents in Washington into treating Amazon more favorably, although editors at the newspaper say Mr. Bezos plays no role in directing its news coverage.

The president’s latest broadside did not mention The Post, instead focusing on a handful of issues he has previously cited to criticize Amazon. While Amazon once widely avoided collecting sales tax in states, it now collects them in every state that has one for goods that it sells from its own inventory.

Some municipalities, however, have complained that Amazon does not collect local taxes under its agreements with states. And in most states Amazon does not collect sales taxes on sales of goods sold by third parties on its platform.

Drew Herdener, an Amazon spokesman, declined to comment.

The media company Axios reported on Wednesday that Mr. Trump has wondered aloud whether Amazon could be vulnerable to antitrust or competition laws. Amazon shares fell almost 5 percent after the Axios article was published. In afternoon trading Thursday, they were down more than 1 percent.

Raj Shah, a deputy White House press secretary, said that Mr. Trump “has talked about the need to have tax parity between online retailers and brick-and-mortar retailers.”

Mr. Shah, speaking Thursday morning on the program, “Fox & Friends,” said this was something Congress could help facilitate and that the president would support.

In 2015, shortly after Mr. Trump started his attacks against the company, Mr. Bezos joked on Twitter about sending the candidate into space on a rocket made by Blue Origin, a space exploration start-up Mr. Bezos owns.

But since Mr. Trump became president, Mr. Bezos and Amazon have become much quieter about his attacks. The company has refused to comment publicly about them. People who work there say privately that, while they do not enjoy Mr. Trump’s tweets, they are more likely to prompt eye rolling rather than some form of crisis control.

Mr. Trump’s latest criticism come as the tech industry is facing a backlash to its power and influence. Facebook, Twitter and Google have come under particularly harsh scrutiny for their role in the 2016 presidential election, when people tied to Russia used the services to spread political messages and misinformation.

The focus on Facebook has intensified this month, after reports that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, improperly harvested the information of 50 million users of the social network.

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