President Donald Trump Saturday tweeted a claim that the "Fake Washington Post" serves as a lobbyist for Amazon, and should be made to register like other lobbyists must do.
Further, he called on the online retail giant to "pay real costs (and taxes) now."
The tweets were posted early Saturday, with the president tweeting first that "while we are on the subject, it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars. The Failing N.Y. Times reports that “the size of the company’s lobbying staff has ballooned."
He continued that "does not include the Fake Washington Post, which is used as a 'lobbyist' and should so REGISTER. If the P.O. 'increased its parcel rates, Amazon’s shipping costs would rise by $2.6 Billion.' This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!"
The Washington Post, which frequently criticizes the president, is owned by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who bought the newspaper for $250 million in 2013.
Amazon, however, earlier in March cut ties with Washington’s biggest lobbying firm and brought on new advisers, following last year's tax overhaul bill and after Trump sent the company's stock falling by attacking it on Twitter.
The company has ended its relationship with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a law firm that attracts more lobbying revenue than any other K Street operation. It also stopped its relationship with Squire Patton Boggs, where one of Amazon's lobbyists included former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.
According to an analysis from Citigroup last year, parcels would cost $1.46 each more to deliver, if costs were fairly allocated, reported The Wall Street Journal at the time.
Large shippers, such as Amazon, are able to drop presorted packages at local Postal Service depots, from where they are delivered at the lower prices. Amazon's high volumes and warehouses located near such depots allows the multibillion dollar company to enjoy lower shipping rates.
However, this week, former Postmaster General Jack Potter told The Wall Street Journal that package delivery has been a moneymaker for the Postal Service, which has been losing billions of dollars in recent years.
“That’s actually the solution right now,” Potter, the postmaster general from 2001 to 2010, said. “It’s well justified that they deliver those packages, and they make money on it.”
In the most recent fiscal year ending in November, earnings showed a decline in its first-class mail revenue, dropping by $1.87 billion to $25.6 billion,
However, in the package delivery category, revenue went up by $2 billion, to $19 billion, while the numbers of delivered parcels went up by 11.7 percent, from 5.1 billion to 5.7 billion,.
Letter deliveries, though, have been dropping in recent years because of email and online bill payments, and the package delivery has not offset the loss of letter mail, The Wall Street Journal noted.
The Postal Service, meanwhile, has not had any appointed members since December 2016, the month before Trump took office. At that time, the last remaining board member's term expired, leaving the board empty for the first time since its creation in 1970.
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