What President Trump Gets Wrong About Amazon’s Effect on the Economy

Opinion

For the past week or so, President Trump has been deriding Amazon as a destroyer of jobs and the main reason many retail companies are failing. Unfortunately, this is a very one-sided and uninformed view of how Amazon is changing our economy.

I run a retail operation that sells almost exclusively on Amazon. Since its founding in 2013, SupplyKick has generated tens-of-millions of dollars in sales, with our team doubling in size during the last year alone. More importantly, unlike many of the retail jobs the president wants to protect, these are all well-paid marketing, logistics, and analytics jobs that support a solid middle-class existence.

We’re not alone, either. There are hundreds of thousands of companies selling their wares in the Amazon marketplace, and while many of them are small, independent retailers, a number have now significantly increased in size. Looking only at the growth of Amazon relative to the closure of brick-and-mortar stores fails to grasp the amazingly large services and logistics ecosystem that has sprung up around the Amazon behemoth.

As Amazon continues pushing brands to sell their own products in the Amazon marketplace, brands are likely to need specialized help navigating Amazon’s constantly changing platform. This will undoubtedly result in trusted third-party sellers like SupplyKick controlling a sizable share of product listings in the Amazon marketplace in a few short years, continuing the growth of a new and sustainable retail job market in the modern economy.

I agree with the president that Congress and the states could enact more equitable tax laws. As a top seller on Amazon, I’d also concede that the company’s stringent terms of service can be difficult for many brands and manufacturers to navigate. But the president’s assertion that this is “not a level playing field” is incredibly naive and fails to understand the huge explosion of small businesses born in just the last decade thanks to of Amazon.

Josh Owens is CEO of SupplyKick, an Indianapolis-based marketing and logistics partner for growing brands on Amazon. Follow @joshuadowens

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