President Trump hates Jeff Bezos, so he is pressuring the Postal Service to increase the rates it charges Bezos’ Amazon firm to deliver packages regardless of the damage to its bottom line, according to a story, based solely on anonymous sources, in the Bezos-owned Washington Post.
“President Trump has personally pushed U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan to double the rate the Postal Service charges Amazon.com and other firms to ship packages, according to three people familiar with their conversations, a dramatic move that probably would cost these companies billions of dollars,” wrote Damian Paletta and Josh Dawsey in their story, “Trump personally pushed postmaster general to double rates on Amazon, other firms.”
Brennan has tried to talk Trump out of it, telling him the relationship is “beneficial” for the Postal Service, showing him slides and claiming the contracts can’t be undone and that any changes must be approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, according to the three anonymous sources.
A study by Citibank found the Postal Service charges Amazon $2 per package for last-mile delivery but that it incurs costs of $3.46 per package for these deliveries, meaning it loses $1.46 for every package it delivers for Amazon.
That’s in addition to $200 million the Postal Service spent three years ago to furnish carriers with 270,000 Internet-connected handheld scanners needed for real-time tracking of Amazon packages and $5 billion to replace 190,000 delivery vehicles to better serve Amazon and other package customers.
But according to the paper owned by Bezos, Amazon being the leading contributor to the Postal Service’s financial woes – it has lost $60 billion since 2007 – is not the story. The story is Trump persecuting Bezos.
“Despite these presentations [from Brennan], Trump has continued to level criticism at Amazon,” it wrote. “And last month, his critiques culminated in the signing of an executive order mandating a government review of the financially strapped Postal Service that could lead to major changes in the way it charges Amazon and others for package delivery.
“Few U.S. companies have drawn Trump’s ire as much as Amazon, which has rapidly grown to be the second-largest U.S. company in terms of market capitalization,” the Post reported. “For more than three years, Trump has fumed publicly and privately about the giant commerce and services company and its founder Jeffrey T. Bezos, who is also the owner of The Washington Post.”
“Trump alleges that Amazon is being subsidized by the Postal Service.” He doesn’t just allege it. The research is clear that it is subsidizing Amazon, and the criticism in most cases is aimed at the Postal Service for making deals that consigned it to losing money.
“He has also accused The Post of being Amazon’s ‘chief lobbyist’ as well as a tax shelter – false charges.” Yet, in this article in which the Bezos-owned Post defends the Bezos-owned Amazon, we’re not told on what basis these charges are false.
“Clouding the matter even further, Trump’s aides have also disagreed internally about whether is paying enough to the Postal Service, with some believing the giant commerce company should be paying more, while others believe that if it weren’t for Amazon, the Postal Service might be out of business, according to the three people.”
It said one White House official – former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn – reportedly thought the Postal Service made money on the Amazon deal.
At the end of the story, the Post wrote that Trump has a point about Bezos’ other businesses taking advantage of the government.
Trump “sees one company exploiting the government for a competitive edge.”
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told the Post, “I think this particular issue is one that he comes at from his business background and understanding the dynamics of cost and delivery and overhead.” This “allows him to probably have a position … that is deeper rooted in an understanding of a business model than perhaps some other presidents.”