President Donald Trump renewed attacks on Amazon in a tweet Thursday, claiming that the company is getting special treatment from the Post Office, which should be charging more to ship packages.
“I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!” he tweeted Thursday.
But that’s not true. Competition (including from Amazon’s efforts to develop its own supply chain) is limiting the U.S. Postal Service’s ability to negotiate higher rates with big online retailers. And the Post Office’s problems are a lot deeper than Amazon getting discounts for some packages.
The Post Office brought in $19.5 billion from shipping packages like Amazon’s last year, one of the few bright spots in a balance sheet marked by mail volume that shrank by 5 billion pieces. Package shipments rose by about 589 million (11.4%) and package revenues were up by about $2.1 billion year over year.
The U.S. Postal Service has been losing money for years due to many factors – but a big one is that Americans just don’t send nearly as much mail anymore.
Trump’s argument, which he has used before, may stem from an April 2017 analysis from Citigroup that claimed the U.S. Postal Service should be charging Amazon and others $1.46 more per package because of a quirk in the rules governing how the Post Office budgets package shipments.