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article imageOp-Ed: Trump uses his office to launch personal vendetta against Amazon

By Karen Graham     May 19, 2018 in Politics
In his latest move to exact revenge on Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, President Trump has now personally, behind closed doors, demanded that US Postmaster General Megan Brennan double package-delivery charges for Amazon and other companies.
I am just going to say it, folks - But this latest attack by Trump has nothing at all to do with the Postal Service. Instead, it is a direct attack on an American business with the objective of doing it harm by a sitting president.
Trump has taken his personal vendetta against Jeff Bezos and his company to new heights that should embarrass the hell out of his administration, especially when it's common knowledge that many in his administration will tell you his animosity toward Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos is motivated largely by a personal and political grudge.
Trump, always the bearer of fake facts that turn into "fake news," says his main concern is over the shipping rates being charged by the post office, which he claims is losing money on its contract with Amazon. Brennen has even tried to convince Trump on many occasions that the contract with Amazon is actually beneficial to them.
A parcel moves on the conveyor belt at Amazon s logistics centre in Graben
A parcel moves on the conveyor belt at Amazon's logistics centre in Graben
Michaela Rehle / Reuters
On Friday, Damian Paletta and Josh Dawsey at the Washington Post reported that Trump has pressed Brennan to up Amazon’s shipping costs. And as Digital Journal reports, Trump has even gone so far as to sign an executive order so that a task force can evaluate the finances of the USPS, presumably to help back up his claim that it loses billions a year due to poor deals struck with Amazon and others.
Postal Service has been in trouble for years
And as Digital Journal noted last month - and something the president is to blinded by his hatred of Jeff Bezos to understand - the culprit is a 2006 law mandating that the USPS pre-fund future retirees’ health benefits, and technology, particularly the Internet. First-class mail, the USPS’ biggest source of revenue, also continues to shrink, with a $1,87 billion loss in 2017.
The thing is this - until Congress allows the USPS "typical commercial freedoms" and reimburses over $10 billion of prepaid payments made for retirees, it'll continue to struggle.
Trump is not letting this latest tirade go - He has already met with senior advisors, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and Domestic Policy Council Director Andrew Bremberg, to talk about Amazon's business practices. Cohn was the only one to defend Amazon, and he has since left the White House.
Fortune notes that even though the package-delivery system the post office uses has been explained to Trump in detail by experts and his staff, it’s all about the Washington Post, which Bezos just happens to own. Trump is sure Bezos uses the paper as a lobbying tool for his company when it actually has been a thorn in the president's side because of its critical reporting.
A source speaking to Vanity Fair painted an even clearer picture, saying: “[Trump] gets obsessed with something, and now he’s obsessed with Bezos . . . Trump is like, how can I fuck with him?”
President Donald Trump has 41.7 million followers on his personal Twitter account  from which he bla...
President Donald Trump has 41.7 million followers on his personal Twitter account, from which he blasts his most controversial and attention-grabbing comments
SAUL LOEB, AFP/File
What the president is doing is dangerous
But facts, real facts are beyond Trump's ability to digest, let alone understand. Instead, he thrives on his Twitter rants, blasting Amazon and Bezos at will. Trump has repeatedly accused Amazon of having a “huge antitrust problem,” repeatedly criticized its shipping practices, and said Bezos is using the Post as a lobbying weapon.
“The president is using his official office to attempt to retaliate against the second-largest US company to the tune of billions because he views its owner as a political opponent,” said Susan Hennessey, executive editor at Lawfare and Brookings Institution fellow, on Twitter. “This is insane.”
The bottom line is real simple, folks. If the USPS were to double its shipping rates, who do you think this would hurt? Try your pocketbook. And we are talking billions of dollars. The Postal Service refused Trump's request and according to a USPS spokesperson, raising the prices would only help competitors.
"Some of our competitors in the package delivery space would dearly love for the Postal Service to aggressively raise our rates higher than the marketplace can bear—so they could either charge more themselves or siphon away postal customers
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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