Many small business owners don’t welcome the pressure.

Tad Mollnhauer, who runs two print and mail order stores near Orlando, Fla., Said beginners typically made around $ 10 to $ 12 an hour. But nowadays anyone who pays that rate risks losing workers to Amazon. (The state minimum wage is below $ 9 an hour but will rise to $ 10 this year in a referendum approved by voters in November. The minimum wage will increase by a dollar a year later, reaching $ 15 an hour in 2026. )

Mr Mollnhauer said it was difficult for small businesses like his to get paid from Amazon.

“Their network and resources are spread across the country,” said Amazon. “For me as two businesses, I can’t do that.”

Jay Carney, senior vice president at Amazon, said the company is aware of the impact its policies have on other employers. “We knew that by doing this we would encourage other employers to do the same, and if that did happen it would push wages up in general, which would be good,” he said.

But he turned down proposals that Amazon would use its political power to hurt its rivals. “We have no power to force anyone, just Congress,” he said.

Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the paper shows both the potential spillover effects for workers from raising the federal minimum wage – studies have shown that workers who earn more than the minimum would also receive increases – than also the limits of the efforts of private companies.

“There’s just no way you can be sure of reaching the tens of millions of hardworking but poorly paid workers without significantly raising the national minimum wage,” he said.

No Republican Senator supports Amazon’s $ 15 an hour bill, and several Democrats have reservations about it. Given this headwind and a negative decision by the Senate MP, the provision will almost certainly not make it into the final version of President Biden’s aid package.