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White House says Trump not looking to go after Amazon right now

  • President Trump is "obsessed" about going after Amazon, a source said, according to Axios.
  • Trump has discussed altering the company's tax treatment because several of his friends told him Amazon is hurting their businesses and "killing shopping malls and brick-and-mortar retailers," the report says.

President Donald Trump is not a fan of Amazon.

Axios is reporting that Trump wants to "go after" the e-commerce giant, citing five sources who have talked about Amazon with him.

"He's obsessed with Amazon," one source told the media outlet. "Obsessed."

Trump has discussed altering the company's tax treatment because several of his friends told him Amazon is hurting their businesses and "killing shopping malls and brick-and-mortar retailers," according to Axios.

Amazon shares fell 4.4 percent Wednesday after the report, wiping out more than $31 billion in shareholder value.

"We have no announcements and no specific policies or actions that we're currently pushing forward [now on Amazon]," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday on the report.

Trump has blasted Amazon on social media in the past, saying the e-commerce company is hurting the retail industry and causing U.S. job losses.

"Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt - many jobs being lost!," he posted on Twitter in August.

Trump also repeatedly bashed the "Amazon Washington Post" on Twitter. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.

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

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

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

More recently, Mnuchin told the House Ways and Means Committee hearing in February that the administration "feels strongly" the government should institute a sales tax on internet e-commerce.

But there hasn't been much follow-up beyond these statements on the Amazon's tax treatment.

Some states — like Washington, Minnesota and Rhode Island — have passed laws requiring online marketplaces to collect sales taxes on behalf of its "third-party" sellers.

Amazon declined to comment.

Read the full Axios story here.

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