According to new reporting from The Washington Post, President Trump personally pushed United States Postal Service head Megan Brennan to jack up shipping prices on Amazon and other firms.
The story comes from unnamed sources, who suggest that, thus far, the postmaster general has held out against pressure from the president. If enacted, the new pricing structure would likely cost the online retailer and others billions.
Amazon has been in Trump’s crosshairs from some time, of course. In late March, he took to Twitter to personally call out a “scam” he believed was costing the USPS “billions,” writing, “If the P.O. ‘increased its parcel rates, Amazon’s shipping costs would rise by $2.6 Billion.’ This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!”
Brennan has reportedly pushed back on the notion that deals with companies like Amazon have been a bad deal for the postal service, offering evidence of the upsides of such partnerships in meetings with the president. She has also noted that such multiyear contracts wouldn’t be easy to break.
But Trump’s criticism of Amazon clearly has a personal element. Here’s a nice compendium of the many times he’s gone after the company and its owner Jeff Bezos on Twitter — at least through late-March. The criticism really started to hit its stride around 2015. Bezos, of course, also own The Washington Post, a paper Trump has regularly called out for reporting “fake news.”
Further clouding all of this is the fact that the USPS hasn’t released the specifics of its pricing deals with Amazon, for fear of given competing delivery services “an unfair advantage.” It has, however, insisted that it’s made money on its deals with Amazon, in spite of the fact that the service reported a $2.7 billion loss in 2017.