The US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has blamed Amazon for the country’s declining retail sector, alleging that the company “destroyed the retail industry across the United States”.
Speaking to CNBC, Mnuchin hailed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) announcement that it was to launch an antitrust inquiry into the practice of big tech firms including Amazon, and whether they were hindering competition.
“If you look at Amazon, although they’re certain benefits to it, they’ve destroyed the retail industry across the United States,” he said.
“I don’t have an opinion other than I think it’s absolutely right the attorney general is looking into these issues and I look forward to listening to his recommendations to the president.”
President Donald Trump has not been shy in making his disdain for Amazon, its founder Jeff Bezos known publicly. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which is frequently critical of the Trump administration.
Amazon has responded to Mnuchin’s remarks stating: “Today, independent sellers make up more than 58% of physical gross merchandise sales on Amazon, and their sales have grown twice as fast as our own, totalling $160 billion in 2018.”