Ama­zon fin­ishes higher de­spite Trump´s new threat on ship­ping rates

Enterprise - - International news -

The largest Amer­i­can busi­ness lobby group came to the de­fense of Ama­ Inc af­ter a multi-day Twit­ter at­tack by US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump that in­cluded un­sub­stan­ti­ated crit­i­cism of the world´s big­gest on­line re­tailer.

The value of Ama­zon shares held by Jeff Be­zos, the on­line re­tailer´s chief ex­ec­u­tive and sin­gle largest share­holder, had taken a $10 bil­lion hit in the week since Trump be­gan at­tack­ing him and his com­pany on Twit­ter.

Cit­ing an un­spec­i­fied re­port, Trump told re­porters at the White House that the com­pany was not pay­ing the U. S. Postal Ser­vice a fair rate, and that it was cost­ing U. S. tax­pay­ers bil­lions of dol­lars and forc­ing other re­tail­ers out of busi­ness, and he threat­ened to raise rates.

A source fa­mil­iar with pro­ceed­ings at the White House said no spe­cific ac­tions ad­dress­ing Trump´s con­cerns about Ama­zon were on the table at the White House at this time, but that could change given Trump´s dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the com­pany.

The U. S. Cham­ber of Com­merce, the largest busi­ness lobby group in the coun­try, stepped in to de­fend Ama­zon, which is a mem­ber. “It’s in­ap­pro­pri­ate for gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to use their po­si­tion to at­tack an Amer­i­can com­pany,” Neil Bradley, chief pol­icy of­fi­cer of the U. S. Cham­ber of Com­merce, said in a state­ment, cit­ing the value of the free en­ter­prise sys­tem and the rule of law. “The record is clear: de­vi­at­ing from those pro­cesses un­der­mines eco­nomic growth and job cre­ation.”

It is not the first time Trump, or an­other U. S. pres­i­dent, has been pub­licly crit­i­cal of a com­pany. Trump has pre­vi­ously crit­i­cized au­tomak­ers, Car­rier Corp, which is owned by United Tech­nolo­gies Corp and Boe­ing Co. In 2015, then-Pres­i­dent Barack Obama crit­i­cized of­fice sup­ply com­pany Sta­ples Inc for not em­brac­ing the Af­ford­able Care Act, draw­ing a quick re­buke from Repub­li­cans and the U. S. Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Trump has pro­gres­sively es­ca­lated his crit­i­cism of Ama­zon and Be­zos, who also pri­vately owns The Wash­ing­ton Post. Be­zos, ranked by Forbes mag­a­zine as the world´s rich­est man with an es­ti­mated net worth of $115.6 bil­lion, owns 78.89 mil­lion Ama­zon shares, worth about $110 bil­lion at mar­ket close. Ama­zon shares closed up 1.5 per­cent at $1,392.05. The shares started the day higher but fell as low as $1,355.33 af­ter Trump´s lat­est Ama­zon-re­lated tweet.

Re­cently, Trump at­tacked the com­pany over its ship­ping. He crit­i­cized it over taxes. “The post of­fice is los­ing bil­lions of dol­lars . . . be­cause it de­liv­ers pack­ages for Ama­zon at a very low rate,” Trump told re­porters. “If you look at the cost that we´re sub­si­diz­ing, we´re giv­ing a sub­sidy to Ama­zon. “Trump of­fered no de­tails about the re­port he cited or how he might charge the com­pany more through USPS.

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