Despite Trump tirade, Amazon consumer chief says U.S. Post Office deal is ‘a terrific partnership’

Amazon Consumer CEO Jeff Wilke on stage at the 2017 GeekWire Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong)

Amazon has publicly addressed its relationship with the United States Postal Service for the first time since President Donald Trump recently escalated his criticism of the e-commerce giant dealings with the USPS.

Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business, discussed Amazon’s partnership with the Post Office in response to a question during an interview with Bloomberg’s Brad Stone and Spencer Soper.

“We’ve been around through four presidents and leadership changes all over the world,” Wilke told Bloomberg. “For more than two decades, we’ve worked with the post office to invent and deliver for customers and business all over the U.S. profitably, creating a bunch of jobs in the process. It’s been a terrific partnership, and I hope it will remain so.”

Earlier this month, Trump initiated a task force to review the United States Postal Service’s “expansion and pricing of the package delivery market and the USPS’s role in competitive markets” among other things. The decision at least appeared to be an escalation of months of tweets in which the president accused Amazon of using the USPS “as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.”

Trump’s executive order doesn’t mention Amazon directly. It vows to explore the various causes of USPS’s financial woes, including the decline in regular mail, like letters, and costly pension liabilities and retiree healthcare obligations that can’t be funded by the service’s current revenue. Package delivery is actually a rare revenue generator for USPS but Trump seems to believe the service could be charging Amazon more for the “last-mile” deliveries it facilitates.

Wilke told Bloomberg that USPS isn’t Amazon’s only option for those deliveries. “There are a bunch of ways to get product to the last mile all over the country,” he said.

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