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Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 in New York. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump said Amazon is ‘doing great damage’ to US retailers and killing jobs



President Trump on Wednesday tweeted that Amazon is harming both job opportunities and retailers nationwide.

It is not clear what prompted Trump’s tweet Wednesday, but he has repeatedly criticized both Amazon and its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in the past.

Trump has also frequently derided The Washington Post, which Bezos purchased in 2013 for $250 million.

The president last month, for example, accused The Post of acting as a “lobbyist weapon” for Amazon.

“So many stories about me in the @washingtonpost are Fake News,” Trump tweeted. “They are as bad as ratings challenged @CNN. Lobbyist for Amazon and taxes?”

“Is Fake News Washington Post being used as a lobbyist weapon against Congress to keep Politicians from looking into Amazon no-tax monopoly?” he asked in a separate tweet.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in July that Trump’s administration is evaluating its position on online sales taxes that would impact companies like Amazon.

“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,” he said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.

Retailers and local and state governments have pressured Congress to enact legislation allowing states to mandate that out-of-state online retailers collect their sales taxes.

Lawmakers stalled on the issue in 2013 after passing bipartisan legislation along those lines called the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Mnuchin said during last month’s hearing that he is encouraged by Amazon collecting taxes on its own sales, though the company does not do so on third-party vendors’ sales.

The Treasury chief also noted that many states require people to pay use taxes on online purchases when taxes are not collected at the time of a transaction.

The Supreme Court decided in 1992 that states can only require retailers to collect sales taxes if companies have a physical presence in the state affected.

The nation’s highest court also ruled, however, that Congress must ultimately decide the issue of remote sales taxes.

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