President Trump issued an executive order late Thursday creating a special task force to examine the U.S. Postal Service’s finances, which he claims have been crippled by a money-losing deal to deliver packages for shopping giant Amazon.
The surprise order was signed at 9 p.m. creating a panel to “conduct a thorough evaluation” of the Postal Service’s finances, which the president says is on an “unsustainable path” and “must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout.”
It sets a deadline of 120 days for the task force to return a report and recommendations.
Although the executive order does not mention Amazon, the president has kept up a drumbeat of criticism against the online retailer, saying the Postal Service loses an average of $1.50 on each Amazon package it delivers.
The president has also criticized Amazon for not paying its share of taxes and for hurting more traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers that have been hurt as a greater share of their business goes online.
In fact the Postal Service has lost money for years, but it actually makes money on package deliveries, with Amazon accounting for a large chunk of that.
“Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon. THEY LOSE A FORTUNE,” he wrote in a tweet earlier this month.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post, which has been a frequent Trump target.