The Postal Service is undercutting US trade interests — it’s time to level the playing field

Through short-sighted and needless bureaucratic actions, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is undercutting the Trump administration’s widely supported push to fix international postal rates and degrading our broader trade negotiating position with China.

In one of the most bizarre and unfair international agreements to which the U.S. is a party, it costs 65 percent or less to send a small package (4.4 pounds or less) from China to the U.S. than to send the same package within the U.S. And most packages are under 4.4 pounds.

International postal rates are set by the United Nations-affiliated Universal Postal Union (UPU). Through effective, overlooked lobbying of the UPU, China and a handful of nations have gotten the rest of the world to provide major subsidies to their international shipping. The ongoing, explosive growth in e-commerce, though, means the U.S. and other nations can no longer afford to look the other way.

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