<span class="articleLocation”>Amazon.com Inc warned on Friday that
government actions to bolster domestic companies against foreign
competition could hurt its business, in a possible reference to
U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda.
In a routine description of regulatory risks in its 2016
annual filing, the world’s largest online retailer said “trade
and protectionist measures” might hinder its ability to grow.
That language has not appeared in Amazon’s warning about
government regulation in at least the past five annual filings
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. However, the
Seattle-based company has cited trade protection in those
filings as a risk to its international sales and operations
The new Republican president has made job creation a
cornerstone of his policies, threatening to impose tariffs on
imports so companies produce and hire within the United States.
Republicans in Congress also have a plan to target imports while
excluding export revenue from U.S. corporate income tax, known
as a border adjustment tax.
The proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives has
divided corporate America. Major exporters like Boeing Co
have thrown their weight behind it, but a retail association has
said it would raise prices for shoppers.
It was not clear what kinds of protectionist measures –
whether tariffs or other actions – concerned Amazon the most, or
from which countries Amazon saw the greatest risk.
Amazon so far has declined to comment on Republican
lawmakers’ border tax plan. It declined comment on the new
language in its annual filing, which appeared under the header, “Government Regulation Is Evolving and Unfavorable Changes Could
Harm Our Business.” The filing did not mention the change in
leadership of the White House.
Separately, Amazon said in the filing that it may face
penalties for having delivered consumer products to entities
covered by the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act,
between 2012 and 2016.
Products included apparel, consumer electronics, software
and books. Amazon said it processed goods worth about $2,400 for
an entity controlled or owned by Iran’s government, for example.
“We do not plan to continue selling to these accounts in the
future,” Amazon said. “Our review is ongoing and we are
enhancing our processes designed to identify transactions
associated with individuals and entities covered by the (act).”
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