Trump says Amazon does 'great damage' to retailers

Lionel Bonaventure, AFP

London - Amazon.com is causing "great damage to tax paying retailers," US President Donald Trump said in a Twitter post on Wednesday, causing shares in the online retailer to fall 1.2% in early trading.

“Towns, cities and states throughout the US are being hurt - many jobs being lost!” Trump said in the tweet.

Trump has previously criticised Amazon and the Washington Post, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, for its coverage. In June, Trump posted a tweet attacking “AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes".

In December 2015, Trump also described the Washington Post as a tax shelter that Bezos uses to keep Amazon’s taxes low.

Without these arrangements, Trump argued, Amazon’s stock would “crumble like a paper bag.” Bezos actually owns the Washington Post via a holding company separate from Amazon. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

Amazon has been battling a number of politicians from both the US and Europe about its stance on tax. In the US, Amazon previously fought to only collect sales taxes for purchases in states where it doesn’t have a physical presence. Now it has a legion of distribution centers, it collects sales tax in every state that has one.

The US retailer is currently fighting the European Union over its tax bill, while in March it won a $1.5bn tax dispute with the IRS.

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