- President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticised Amazon over the last five days,
- He says the retailer takes advantage of the US Post Office and pays less tax than other retailers, but did not provide evidence to back up those claims.
- But Trump’s own campaign team shopped on Amazon during the runup to the 2016 election.
- This shows how unavoidable Amazon is.
President Donald Trump is clearly no friend to Amazon.
In fact, Trump has tweeted about the retailer three times in the last five days, following an Axios report that Trump is “obsessed” with Amazon.
The president’s favourite refrains are that the online giant is taking advantage of the US Post Office and not playing on a level field with other retailers, but he has not submitted any evidence to back up these assertions.
That’s opened him up to criticism, with much of the data pointing to the fact that Amazon actually helps the post office to stay open, even if it does pay a discount bulk rate for the volume it ships.
Trump, through his campaign, has been a consistent Amazon customer, however. Trump’s campaign team spent $US158,498.41 on Amazon during the runup to the election in 2015 and 2016, according to FEC records cited by CBS News. The purchases were listed as “office supplies.”
The campaign made 379 orders, costing, on average, $US418.20. The largest transaction cost $US3,890, indicating the campaign wasn’t just ordering sticky notes.
That’s not all. Records also show the Donald J. Trump for President committee – an organisation separate from the campaign – also spent $US2,000 on Amazon. This, however, was after the election, in 2017.
Trump insists he’s been vocal with his concerns about Amazon “long before the election,” so even in 2015 and 2016, it’s unlikely the campaign would have shopped on the website given a viable alternative. But there really isn’t one. Running a fast-moving, time-crunched campaign has certain demands, and free, two-day shipping and an enormous selection makes Amazon an easy go-to option.
Amazon is by far the largest and most dominant online retailer. It’s this addictive, customer-obsessed service that got it to that position, and why it’s so hard for others to compete.