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Trump attacks Amazon over shipping prices

by Evan Wilt
Posted 12/29/17, 11:13 am

President Donald Trump targeted Amazon on Friday for unfairly benefitting from the U.S. Postal Service. “Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer? Should be charging MUCH MORE!” Trump tweeted. While it’s not clear what prompted Trump’s attack, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post, a publication the president often criticizes. On Wednesday, Amazon announced the company had record holiday shopping sales that included 4 million new Amazon Prime memberships in a single week. In 2017, Amazon captured nearly half of all online retail sales growth. The U.S. Postal Service is an independent agency within the federal government and does not receive taxpayer funding. It has lost money for 11 straight years due mostly to pension and healthcare costs. The mailing industry is a $1.4 trillion business that employs more than 7.5 million people. Amazon uses the U.S. Postal Service to deliver its packages as well as private companies like UPS and FedEx.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.

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  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Fri, 12/29/2017 12:41 pm

    It's at times like these that I really wonder how we would react if Obama were openly criticizing businesses left and right.

  • Joe M
    Posted: Fri, 12/29/2017 01:04 pm

    “While it’s not clear what prompted Trump’s attack, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post, a publication Trump often criticized.” Such assigning of motives dampens journalistic integrity. As does a one liner descripting the UPS as an independent agency. How about an explanation? The UPS receives no government funds? Hope it’s true but hard to believe.

  • Fuzzyface
    Posted: Fri, 12/29/2017 01:25 pm

    Joe I assmue you mean USPS (United States Postal Service) not UPS (United Parcel Service).  Or don't you know that UPS and FedEx are private companies?  Or are you talking about the subsidies that some get (I'm thinking about Amazon getting exempt from state sales taxes.)

  • Shelley Tuttle's picture
    Shelley Tuttle
    Posted: Fri, 12/29/2017 01:12 pm

    Personally, I'm an Amazon Prime member (about $99 for the year), but I am still amazed at how I've had at least 50 Christmas gifts sent free of chrage. This is a huge savings to me, and it looks like Amazon's business was boosted tremendously by this benefit. While I would like it to stay that way, I do see that the gov't may be competing against itself, and that's what Trump is seeing: the bottom line is the USPS is in the red and Bezos is making a haul.

  • Jeff Grubbs
    Posted: Fri, 12/29/2017 01:46 pm

    I am glad Amazon is using USPS too.  They need all the help they can get.

  • beep523
    Posted: Fri, 12/29/2017 01:59 pm

    I just wrote a comment on Fox News yesterday about the American problem of assigning cause without any facts to substantiate the cause. And here World is doing the same thing. Maybe it's time to look deeply into your own heart, World. The President is simply calling a spade, a spade. And too many people don't like their dirty little sins (and greed) exposed. As for the President's comment, I say Bravo. It's refreshing to see these issues addressed. More power to him who will not be cowed by political correctness.

  • Matthew L
    Posted: Fri, 12/29/2017 03:09 pm

    beep523, assigning cause without facts is what Trump's doing, not WORLD. There's nothing in his tweet that backs up his claim that the post office is charging Amazon too little for package delivery, let alone that that is the cause of them running billions of dollars into debt. I love that WORLD mentioned the actual cause of them running so large of debt (pension and healthcare costs). For all we know the USPS is charging just the right amount to keep Amazon's business, and if they increased the cost Amazon would drop the USPS completely and the USPS would go even more into debt. We just don't have the facts to accurately judge that ourselves.

  • Fuzzyface
    Posted: Fri, 12/29/2017 03:16 pm

    It used to be that the USPS lost money on letters but made up for it on packages.  Recently the USPS has lost market share in the package delivery.  Did the USPS actually contract for package delivery below costs or are the losses due to lower volume of regular mail due to people changing to email and other electronic messaging?  If the USPS actually bid lower than costs is that Amazon's fault?  I know Amazon is a gorilla in the room but USPS, UPS, and FedEx are all big as well.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 12/29/2017 03:20 pm

    Agree with Matthew L, that we really don't know that USPS is shipping for Amazon at a loss. Hopefully not. BUT, if the Post Office set a rate and Amazon agreed to it, why fault Amazon?

    I, like others here, think it's President Trump who's off-base, not Amazon.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 12/29/2017 03:23 pm

    Oops. Double post. 

    World, how about a "delete post" option in the edit feature?