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Trump rips Amazon, says it causes 'great damage to tax paying retailers'; shares slip

  • President Trump blasts Amazon again on Twitter, saying the e-commerce giant is hurting retailers and causing job losses.
  • Amazon shares fell as much as 1 percent in the premarket session after Trump's tweet. The stock closed down 0.5 percent Wednesday.

President Donald Trump blasted Amazon on social media Wednesday, saying the e-commerce giant is hurting retailers and causing U.S. job losses.


Amazon shares fell as much as 1 percent in premarket trading after Trump's tweet. The stock closed down 0.5 percent Wednesday, underperforming the SPDR S&P Retail ETF's 0.9 percent gain.

"While this is not his first tweet about Amazon and taxes (and of course, the Washington Post), we do find it interesting that he is now linking Amazon and job losses in traditional retail," KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Edward Yruma wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.

Trump bashed the "Amazon Washington Post" three times from July 22 to July 24 on Twitter. He also blasted Amazon in June for "not paying internet taxes."

Amazon declined to comment on the latest Tweet.

During a campaign rally in February 2016, Trump told the crowd: "If I become president, oh [does Amazon] have problems. They're going to have such problems." He claimed its CEO, Jeff Bezos, bought The Washington Post only to have "political influence."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also hinted in July the administration may soon take "a position" on Amazon's tax collection policy.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., asked the Treasury secretary about his view on internet state sales taxes at a Senate hearing on July 26.

"So this is an issue that we've been looking at very carefully within the administration, and we expect to come out with a position shortly," Mnuchin said. "I am encouraged that Amazon is now charging tax, I believe, on their own sales but not the marketplace. I'm not sure I understand the consistency on that, but I respect the states' ability that there's an awful lot of money that's not being collected."

Mnuchin is referring to e-commerce giant's "third-party" marketplace, where other firms sell goods on Amazon's website. This compares to its "first-party" business, where the internet company sell products directly to customers.

Amazon does offer a state sales tax collection feature to "third-party" sellers, according to The Wall Street Journal. However, it is unclear how many use the service.

As of April 1, Amazon began collecting state sales tax nationwide for products it sells directly, so called "first-party" sales, with the exception of states that don't have a sales tax: Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Montana and New Hampshire.

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