Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden told CNBC on Friday that Amazon “should start paying its taxes.”
“I don’t think a company, I don’t care about their size, the Almighty Lord, should absolutely be in a position where they pay no taxes and make billions and billions and billions of dollars, # 1, “Biden said in the interview” Squawk Box “.
An Amazon spokesperson referred CNBC to a blog post from January which presents the company’s federal tax expenditures for 2019, as well as its contributions to the economy.
The former vice president was asked if the business should be dissolved. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who challenged Biden for the nomination and is now a potential running mate, called for the dissolution of Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet, saying they are too powerful and harm consumers.
Biden, who appeared for the live interview from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, did not go as far as Warren, saying he would leave the antitrust cases to his administration. But he said that Amazon’s behavior was inappropriate.
“The whole notion of this is: are you playing the game fairly?” Said Biden. “What is the capitalist system? The capitalist system concerns everyone who treats fairly and deals directly with the American people and with their employees.”
The online retailer fared much better than most US companies, as home support measures linked to the coronavirus pandemic have further fueled consumer demand on the Internet. But the company continues to face political pressure from left and right politicians.
President Donald Trump, whose frequent attacks on Amazon are often linked to his feud with CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, last month threatened to block federal aid to the United States Postal Service unless ‘it does not increase the prices charged to the company. .
In a tweet last year, Trump called Bezos “Jeff Bozo” and expressed the hope that “the document will soon be in better and more responsible hands!”
Amazon’s tax case in particular has been targeted by lawmakers. The company paid $ 162 million in federal taxes in 2019 after having owed $ 0 in the previous two years. The company, which benefits from a variety of tax credits and tax deductions, reported total sales of $ 280.5 billion last year.
Last June, Biden and Amazon engaged in a discussion on Twitter, Biden saying that “no company making billions of dollars in profits should pay a lower tax rate than firefighters and teachers.”
Amazon has responded, claiming it has paid $ 2.6 billion in corporate taxes since 2016 and touting its investments in job creation in the United States.
“We pay every penny we owe,” said the company. “Suppose VP Biden’s complaint is about the tax code, not Amazon,” the company added.
In Friday’s interview, Biden also said that the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic seems “very far”.