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Trump attacks Amazon for Washington Post article, threatens its use of the US Postal Service

Amazon.com packages await shipment at the Indianapolis Mail Processing Annex December 15, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. In a tweet bashing an Amazon-owned Washington Post article, President Donald Trump threatened that the Post Office could be the "next" thing that Amazon loses. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump renewed his criticism of the relationship between Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service on Monday, after The Washington Post ran an article critical of his handling of North Korea.

What did the president tweet?

On Monday, Trump tweeted:

Trump is likely referring to a Sunday article from The Washington Post which described him as being frustrated over the "lack of progress on North Korea." The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon. After Trump's tweets, the stock price for Amazon dropped.

What exactly is the relationship between Amazon and USPS?

The U.S. Postal Service has been losing money for years. This is due in part to the advent of email, which has been connected to a steep decline in the amount of traditional mail sent and received. In 2017, the Postal Service reportedly had a net loss of $2.7 billion.

The full details of the deal Amazon made with the post office are confidential, but the USPS has insisted that it is not losing money on the deal. In August 2017, Postal Service CFO Joseph Corbett said in a statement that "[b]y law our competitive package products, including those that we deliver for Amazon, must cover their costs."

However, it's not clear how much of a profit beyond operating costs USPS is getting from Amazon.

Didn't Trump attack the Amazon/USPS relationship before?

In December, Trump asked on Twitter why the Postal Service was charging Amazon "so little," which he said was "making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer."

In April, he tweeted again multiple times saying that Amazon was "costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy."

That same month, Trump ordered the creation of a task force to investigate the Postal  Service's finances. The creation of a task force like this is not unheard of. Former President George W. Bush had ordered something similar in 2002.

In May, The Washington Post reported that Trump had asked the U.S. postmaster general to start charging Amazon double the current rate.

One last thing…
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