55% say Amazon plays fair with USPS

April 10, 2018

President Donald Trump continues to harass Amazon—contending that the online shopping site pays the U.S. Postal Service too little to deliver its packages and is, therefore, ripping off taxpayers. But do the American people agree? That’s what Yahoo asked in a recent survey.

The Web-based news, email and search site released results on April 3 of a flash online survey of nearly 20,000 Yahoo Finance readers—which found that 55% say Trump is wrong and think Amazon plays fair. About 32% say Trump is right and think Amazon doesn’t play fair. Nearly 13% aren’t sure.

Yet Amazon is far more popular than Trump, at least among Yahoo Finance users. Overall, 70% of survey respondents have a positive impression of Amazon, compared with just 26% who have a positive impression of Trump. (In Gallup’s latest weekly survey, Trump’s approval rating is 39%.)

It is very unlikely Amazon has a sweetheart deal with the Postal Service that no other bulk shipper is able to get, Yahoo reports. By law, the Postal Service must break even on every contract for package delivery, at a minimum. It sets the rates Amazon pays; not Amazon. Given the volume Amazon ships, it’s more likely that Amazon is providing a valuable revenue stream to the Postal Service than taking it for a ride.

But Trump isn’t trying to win on facts. According to Yahoo, “He seems to despise Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, which is a frequent Trump critic. So Trump appears to be trying to damage Amazon, the source of Bezos’s immense wealth.”

And Trump has succeeded, at least temporarily, Yahoo says. Amazon shares have fallen by about 8% since Trump’s first Twitter attack on March 29—zapping about $58 billion in market value.

Trump supporters, not surprisingly, are more likely to agree with Trump and frown on Amazon. Of the 26% of survey respondents who said they have a positive impression of Trump, 77% agree with him about Amazon, and only 11% think he’s wrong. Here’s how the Trump supporters answered:

Trump, of course, may believe he’s winning if he manages to turn anybody against Amazon, which, Yahoo said, “he probably has, given that some of his core supporters line up behind just about any stance he takes.”

Research contact: @YahooFinance

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