Amazon Says Trade Protectionism Might Hurt Business

On Friday, Amazon.com warned that actions by the government to help domestic companies against foreign competition might hurt its online business. The warning was a possible reference to the agenda of America First that President Donald Trump is pushing.

While giving a routine description of the different regulatory risk in its annual filing for 2016, the largest retailer online in the world said that protectionist and trade measures might hurt the company’s ability to grow.

That language was not in the warning Amazon gave about government regulation for at least the last five yearly filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

However, the company, based in Seattle, has cited the presence of trade protection in the filing as being a risk to international operations and sales specifically.

The new U.S. president had put job creation at the head of the list for his domestic policies, threatening an import tariff on products so that companies manufacture products in the U.S. and hire people living in the U.S.

Republicans in Washington have another plan as well as they target imports while excluding revenue from exports from corporate income tax, which is known as border adjustment tax.

That proposal that is currently in the House of Representatives had been divisive in corporate America. Major exporters such as Boeing have put their influence behind such a tax, but one retail association said it would increase prices for the consumer.

It is not clear what types of measures in protectionism – such as tariffs or other forms – concerned online giant Amazon more than others or from which countries the retailing behemoth saw the most risk.

Thus far Amazon has not commented on the plan for a border tax by Republican lawmakers. When messages were left requesting comments related to the language found on the annual filing related to protectionism.

No mention was made in the filing about the change of leadership in Washington or the White House.

In just the three weeks since President Trump took office, there have been a number of issues that have upset the corporate world.

Another affecting technology firms in Silicon Valley is the immigration ban Trump made against people from 7 Muslim-majority countries that has currently been blocked in court and is pending a final decision.

Another is the possible change in the number of H1-B visas that are allocated each year, which give foreign nationals the right to work in the U.S.

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