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Amazon expresses concern over protectionism in regulatory filing

11 February 2017

Amazon has raised a red flag over the Trump administrations' America First trade policies, despite the promised tax cuts and elimination of regulation.

In a regulatory filing yesterday, said that its business now faced a new set of risks: "trade and protectionist measures."

Though Amazon had not specifically mentioned president Trump, the new risks were a clear reference to the possible changes that would likely be seen as a result of the policies of the administration, according to commentators.

Amazon's last five annual reports had not included the four word phrase (trade and protectionist measures) trade and protectionist measures", which represented the only significant change from last year's filing in a section that outlined potentially "unfavorable changes" in government regulation.

According to commentators, the new addition made it clear that Amazon had serious reservations about Trump's approach to trade, with the nation already exiting the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership in favour of an "America First" policy.

Amazon is not alone in airing its reservations about the new administration's policies. In a widely circulated letter, successful hedge fund manager, Seth Klarman recently penned a letter warning investors about risks.

"Exuberant investors have focused on the potential benefits of stimulative tax cuts, while mostly ignoring the risks from America-first protectionism and the erection of new trade barriers,'' he wrote.

The new Republican president had pledged to protect American jobs and introduce tariffs on imports so companies produced and hired within the US.

Republicans are also working on plans to target imports while excluding export revenue from US corporate income tax, known as a border adjustment tax.

While the proposal in the US House of Representatives had received the backing of some companies, with major exporters like Boeing Co backing it, according to a retail association it would raise prices for shoppers.

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