Trump Panel Proposes Sustainable Path for US Postal Service

Galtero Lara
Diciembre 6, 2018

The U.S. Postal Service should charge businesses more to mail packages, monetize its exclusive access to mailboxes, and explore ways to partner with private businesses, according to a report from a government panel appointed by President Donald Trump.

That recommendation could raise costs for Amazon and other major businesses that are now using the Postal Service to supplement their delivery operations.

The task force recommended that the Postal Service have the authority to charge market-based rates for anything that is not deemed an essential service, like delivery of prescription drugs.

President Donald Trump ordered an evaluation of the US Postal Service's finances in April, after weeks of accusing Amazon of not paying its fair share of postage.

Among its key recommendations, Tuesday's report calls for the development of a new pricing model, which eliminates across the board price caps and suggests charging "market-based prices" for both mail and package items that are not considered essential postal services.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the report "contains achievable recommendations".

Since taking office, Trump has often criticized Amazon and the head of the company, Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.

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"I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election".

The report said that between 2007 and 2018, the Postal Service had experienced net losses totaling $69 billion, with the Postal Service expected to lose tens of billions of dollars over the next decade.

Amazon, FedEx Corp and United Parcel Service Inc did not return requests for comment.

Postmaster General Megan Brennan said in a statement that the focus needs to be on achieving the legislative and regulatory reforms that are urgently needed to reduce costs and allow the Postal Service to "function with greater flexibility to adapt to a dynamic marketplace".

The report recommends handing the postal service the ability to redefine the meaning of the so-called "universal service obligation", which is a mission statement laying out the scope of the organization's services.

Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, charged that numerous recommendations in the report were based on "myth and misinformation" and that instead of improving mail services "would deliver higher prices and less service to the public".

The administration found that the Postal Service has not accounted for a decline in mail volume and the growth in package volume in its current pricing structure.

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