Trump task force recommends ways to boost Postal Service

Photo: AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File

 

A task force created by President Donald Trump to evaluate ways to stem billions of dollars in losses at the U.S. Postal Servicesuggested a range of options Tuesday, including proposals that could significantly boost the cost of sending non-essential mail.

The report recommended that the Postal Service develop a new pricing model that would remove current price caps and charge market-based prices for mail and packages that were not deemed to be “essential postal services.”

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

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the report “contains achievable recommendations.”

“The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path which poses significant financial risk to American taxpayers,” Mnuchin said in a statement.

He said the task force review ordered by Trump last April had produced recommendations that would “fulfill the president’s goal of placing the USPS on a path to sustainability.”

The president ordered creation of the task force, which was overseen by Mnuchin, last April after complaining that the Postal Service was not charging big users like Amazon enough to handle its shipments.

“Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon,” Trump tweeted in April.

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

The report found that the Postal Service is not correctly assessing the costs it incurs in delivering packages for companies like Amazon, but it did not make a finding that it was losing money in its dealings with Amazon.

Online retailers Amazon and eBay participated in the report, according to the task force. In a statement, eBay said it is a “long standing partner of the United States Postal Service” and its “small business sellers rely on USPS to reach their customers.” Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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