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    Fact check: Is the postal service losing a fortune to Amazon?

    John Zeedick/Associated Press/file

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump won’t let up on Amazon. He’s been assailing the online retailer for days, zeroing in on a ‘‘scam’’ contract with the U.S. Postal Service that’s actually been judged profitable for the post office.

    In another tweet on Tuesday, Trump again claimed the postal service is losing “massive amounts of money.”

    Here’s a look at his statements over the last several days:



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    TRUMP: ‘‘Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon. THEY LOSE A FORTUNE, and this will be changed. Also, our fully tax paying retailers are closing stores all over the country...not a level playing field!’’ — tweet Monday.

    TRUMP: ‘‘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!’’ — tweet Saturday.

    THE FACTS: Trump is misrepresenting the contract that has the post office deliver some Amazon orders. Federal regulators have found that contract to be profitable for the Postal Service.

    As well, people who buy products sold by Amazon pay sales tax in all states that have a sales tax. Not all third-party vendors using Amazon collect it, however.


    As for the post office, package delivery has been a bright spot for a service that’s lost money for 11 straight years. The losses are mostly due to pension and health care costs — not the business deal for the Postal Service to deliver packages for Amazon. Boosted by e-commerce, the Postal Service has enjoyed double-digit increases in revenue from delivering packages, but that hasn’t been enough to offset declines in first-class letters and marketing mail, which together make up more than two-thirds of postal revenue.

    While the Postal Service’s losses can’t be attributed to its package business, Trump’s claim that it could get more bang for its buck may not be entirely far-fetched. A 2017 analysis by Citigroup concluded that the Postal Service was charging below-market rates as a whole for parcels. The post office does not use taxpayer money for its operations.

    Trump is upset about Amazon because its owner, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post, one of the targets of his ‘‘fake news’’ tweets.