Briefing

The U.S government wants to shop online, too

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The Trump administration is set to move federal procurement away from government-run purchasing websites in 2020, instead contracting with e-commerce platforms. (The Wall Street Journal)

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Talking point: Amazon, Walmart and eBay have all placed bids to become the go-to virtual spot for federal purchases, which could amount to up to US$50 billion a year. U.S. government officials expect e-commerce to save time, create more competition for government procurement and give more information about how taxpayer money is spent. Federal workers already use government-issued purchase cards on sites like Amazon, with legal purchase set at anything lower than US$10,000. Amazon—frequently criticized by President Donald Trump over its business practices and economic impact, and for CEO Jeff Bezos’s ownership of the Washington Post—already sells to many states and local American governments, ships via the U.S. Postal Service and provides cloud computing for dozens of federal agencies.