Amazon took the extraordinary step of laying out its positions on nearly every hot-button topic in the world in a web page that unveiled Thursday, bringing new clarity to the tech company’s public policy agenda.
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The page, which is simply titled “Our Positions,” states where the Seattle tech giant stands on eleven issues -- several of which have a direct impact on business in America.
“We created this page to provide customers, investors, policymakers, employees, and others our views on certain issues,” the company states on the new page. “While our positions are carefully considered and deeply held, there is much room for healthy debate and differing opinions. We hope being clear about our positions is helpful.”
Amazon starts off the “Our Positions” missive by saying “the federal minimum wage in the U.S. is too low and should be raised.” An issue that will become a topic during the 2020 election.
This section states that federal minimum wage is $7.25 and has not gone up since 2009, and declares that “raising the minimum wage would have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of individuals and families across the nation and help address growing income inequality.”
The company then states that it pays a minimum wage of $15 an hour to all full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees across the United States, and then says they offer the best benefits that are “egalitarian, regardless of level or seniority.”
Amazon supports and lobbies for reforms to the immigration system, which includes a legal pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, reforms to the green card and high-skilled visa programs, and their active participation in legal challenges to the Trump administation’s travel ban.
The tech giant feels that counterfeiters should be given stronger penalties under federal law. It claims that counterfeiters are “undeterred and continue to push their products through online and physical stores, harming both consumers and the retail companies who serve them.” In 2018, Amazon invested more than $400 million in personnel and preventative tools built on machine learning and data science, and employed more than 4,000 employees to fight fraud and counterfeiting in our stores. Last year alone, our proactive efforts prevented more than 1 million suspected bad actors from opening Amazon seller accounts and blocked more than 3 billion suspected bad listings.
“While our positions are carefully considered and deeply held, there is much room for healthy debate and differing opinions. We hope being clear about our positions is helpful"
Amazon supports U.S. federal policies that make intellectual property violations crimes with meaningful penalties, which includes a requirement that every package imported into the U.S. clearly identify who is responsible for shipping the product.
“Consumer data privacy should be protected under federal law,” the policy paper states. Amazon claims it has built privacy into our services from the ground up, and it never sells data of its individual customers. Amazon discloses in their privacy notice the types of data collected and the limited circumstances in which we share customer data with third parties.
Amazon also feels that “corporate tax codes in any country should incentivize investment in the economy and job creation.” It also goes into how they feel tax codes – particularly those between countries - should be coordinated to have neither loopholes to create lower taxes or overlaps that lead to higher tax rates “because these distort company behavior in ways that don’t benefit consumers or the economy. It also declared support for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and its efforts with governments around the world to review the international tax system.