On Thursday, while traveling aboard Air Force One, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters that he would be taking a look at policy options he has to address what he labeled unfair business advantages enjoyed by Amazon.com Inc. the online e-commerce giant.
During his talk with reporters he accused Amazon of not paying sufficient sales tax and operating on an un-level playing field. When asked if policy changes might be made related to Amazon, Trump replied that a serious look would be taken by the administration.
He added that the Supreme Court would be looking at the sale tax situation very soon.
The high court will hear a case April 17, in which South Dakota is asking that the court overturn a Supreme Court ruling from 1992 that says only companies having a physical presence in a particular state are required by law to collect sales tax from that state on purchases.
In lower courts, South Dakota lost in its efforts. The Department of Justice has filed a brief that supports South Dakota in its case.
Amazon does not have anything to do with this case, but the ruling could lead to consequences for it as well as other online businesses. Amazon already has agreed to the collection of sales tax in 45 states, all of which impose them, on items directly sold by the company.
South Dakota has argued that traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have suffered because they must collect sales tax by law and therefore suffer a pricing disadvantage.
On Thursday, the comments made by Trump followed an earlier tweet during the day that called the Washington Post Amazon’s chief lobbyist.
His allegations of lobbying repeated an attack previously on the newspaper that had been unsubstantiated, while officials in the White House said no changes in policy in relation to Amazon were planned at this time.
Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder and CEO of Amazon, owns the Washington Post personally and it not owned in any part by Amazon.
Trump has regularly lashed out against what he considered critical articles the Post, New York Times and CNN run.
A headline that appeared Thursday in the Post upset Trump. The headline was about China retaliating with its own trade tariffs against products from the U.S.
Trump tweeted that another fake headline has been printed by the Washington Post.
The Washington Post was called a lobbyist for Amazon last week by Trump in one of his tweets.