Trump again pushes 'idea' that Amazon should 'pay for' USPS

But one analysis suggests company might be keeping post office afloat, contradicting the president

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Tuesday 18 August 2020 22:55 BST
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Donald Trump has again pushed an idea he says would rescue the United States Postal Service from its financial tumult: charge online retailers like Amazon more per package.

The president spoke to reporters during a trip to Arizona on Tuesday about an hour after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House will move ahead with a Saturday vote on a bill that would give the post office $25bn more to deal with a massive influx of mail-in ballots as states prepare to send them out to coronavirus-fearing voters. Mr Trump earlier in the day did not directly answer a question about whether he supports that bill.

But when asked again about the postal scandal, hours after his hand-picked postmaster general announced he would freeze policies Democrats said were aimed at suppressing votes in the fall for former Vice President Joe Biden, that party's presumptive presidential nominee, the president had another plan.

"I have a much better idea for the post office ... you raise the price-per-package by a number that it should be so instead of Amazon and these companies making a fortune ... Amazon will pay for the cost of the post office," Mr Trump said. "So now instead of losing tens of billions of dollars a year, like it has been for 30, 40 years, and so should other companies in the business of Amazon, delivery."

The president gave no indication his "idea" is being folded into a proposal. It may require congressional approval. White House officials had not responded to a request for comment on whether the president is planning to sign an order upping the price for online retailers.

But he said he wants Amazon and similar online retailers to pay "$2 or $3" per package.

He accused Amazon of building massive distribution facilities beside "a big post office", saying the company will "dump package into the post office".

Amazon is owned by Jeffrey Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post. The president often calls that and other media outlets "fake news" and an "enemy of the people".

One analysis of Amazon and the post office contradicts Mr Trump's claims, with CNBC concluding the company's massive shipments might be keeping the USPS afloat. The network's study of the postal service's financial problems pinned the situation on its requirement to spend $5bn annually on employees' health benefits.

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