Amazon’s stock market value lost as much as $5 billion during premarket trading after President Donald Trump tweeted that the online giant does “great damage to tax paying retailers.” Trump has long accused Amazon of not paying its fair share of taxes.
On Wednesday, Trump criticized Amazon on Twitter by saying it is hurting retailers and causing US job losses. The president had previously tweeted similar attacks against the e-commerce company, as well as pointing out that its CEO Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post.
After Trump’s tweet, Amazon stock closed down 0.5 percent, according to CNBC.
“While this is not his first tweet about Amazon and taxes (and of course, the Washington Post), we do find it interesting that he is now linking Amazon and job losses in traditional retail,” Edward Yruma, KeyBanc Capital Markets Analyst wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.
On three occasions, from July 22-24, Trump blasted Amazon and the Washington Post. The president called the companies the “Amazon Washington Post,” alleging some financial impropriety by Bezos.
At one of his campaign rallies in February last year, Trump told a crowd about his future plans for dealing with Amazon.
“If I become president, oh [does Amazon] have problems. They’re going to have such problems,” Trump said. He also stated that Bezos only bought the Post so that he could have “political influence.”
At a July 26 Senate hearing, Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin what he thought about the issue of internet sales tax on a state level.
“So 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,” Mnuchin said, CNBC reported. “I am encouraged that Amazon is now charging tax, I believe, on their own sales but not the marketplace. I’m not sure I understand the consistency on that, but I respect the state’s ability that there’s an awful lot of money that’s not being collected.”
The senator was referring to Amazon’s third party market place, where other businesses and firms sell products on Amazon’s website.
On April 1, Amazon began collecting state sales tax nationwide in relation to products that it sells directly to customers through so called “first-party” sales.
Amazon does currently offer a state sales tax collection feature to its third party sellers, but it is unclear how many utilize the service, the Wall Street Journal reported.