President Trump continued to criticize Amazon on Monday, accusing the online retailer of unfair practices, even though his presidential campaign spent more than $150,000 on the site.
According to Federal Election Commission records, the Trump campaign spent $158,498.41 of office supplies in 379 transactions during 2015 and 2016, CBS News reported. The campaign spent more than $2,000 in 2017.
The president has repeatedly made false claims that Amazon doesn’t pay state or local income taxes and that the U.S. Postal Service loses money by shipping Amazon packages.
“While we are on the subject, it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.
“The Failing N.Y. Times reports that ‘the size of the company’s lobbying staff has ballooned,’ and that……does not include the Fake Washington Post, which is used as a ‘lobbyist’ and should so REGISTER,” Trump wrote. “If the P.O. ‘increased its parcel rates, Amazon’s shipping costs would rise by $2.6 Billion.'”
“This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now,” the president added.
The U.S. Postal Service is contracted to deliver packages for Amazon, which pays the same rate as other bulk shippers, CNN reports. In 2017, USPS delivered 589 million more packages than it did in 2016, resulting in a $2.1 billion increase in income, an 11.4 percent rise. (Meanwhile, regular mail delivery declined by 5 billion pieces, or 3.6 percent.) The contract is renewable yearly, and an independent regulator examines the terms each year to ensure the deal is profitable for USPS.
Amazon charges state and local sales tax in the 45 states where they’re required. The company paid zero federal taxes in 2017 because of legal tax breaks. The company will receive about $789 million in 2018 from the Republican tax-cut plan.
Amazon is owned by Jeff Bezos, who also owns the “Washington Post,” which Trump has criticized for unflattering coverage of him and his administration. At one point during the 2016 campaign, he banned the “Post” from covering his campaign events. Although Trump has conflated the two companies, often referring to “Amazon Washington Post” on Twitter, the companies operate as independent entities and neither employs lobbyists.
Amazon’s stock closed down 5 percent on Monday.