Politics

Trump Wants Washington Post To Register As A Lobbyist For Amazon

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (L) Jonathan Ernst (R)

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President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that The Washington Post should register as a lobbyist because it is owned by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Trump has reportedly considered applying taxes to the massive online retailer, and lately has intensified his comments that Amazon is taking advantage of the U.S. Postal Service.

In his tweet, Trump noted that Amazon has beefed up its lobbying staff in the past year, quoting the New York Times, but the reported lobbying efforts “does not include the Fake Washington Post, which is used as a ‘lobbyist’ and should so REGISTER.”

Amazon has indeed increased its lobbying efforts, a fact reported by The Washington Post in October, focused on drone regulations, taxes and transportation issues. It also engaged anti-trust consultants, according to The New York Times. Bezos purchased the Post in 2013 for $250 million, but the paper is not a part of Amazon.

“If the P.O. ‘increased its parcel rates, Amazon’s shipping costs would rise by $2.6 Billion,'” Trump wrote. “This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!”

Trump’s claims that the postal service is getting the raw end of a deal with Amazon is not new, but many say it’s inaccurate. Former Postmaster General Jack Potter, who led the USPS from 2001 to 2010, said that Amazon’s business is actually the solution to the postal service’s financial woes. Delivering packages for Amazon is “actually the solution right now,” Potter told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s well justified that they deliver those packages, and they make money on it.”

Trump appeared to draw from a Citigroup analysis of the postal system to claim that Amazon gets a $1.50 discount on packages delivered by the USPS. In a 2017 WSJ op-ed, money manager Josh Sandbulte argued that every package USPS delivers — not just Amazon’s — would be $1.46 more expensive if the USPS didn’t subsidize packaged delivery with first-class mail revenues, where profit margins are higher.

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