Donald Trump Takes on the Disgrace of Low Postal Rates

Ryzhy the cat, Russian Post's Employee of the Year, poses on top of a postbox in Omsk.Feoktistov Dmitry/TASS via ZUMA

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Donald Trump doesn’t like international postal rates:

The Trump administration opened a new front in Washington’s economic conflict with China, starting a process Wednesday to withdraw from a 144-year-old international postal body whose discounts allow Chinese merchants to ship small packages to U.S. customers at steeply discounted rates.

….The Universal Postal Union negotiates global rates and other standards for cross-border mail. The U.N. agency has long used a tiered system for letters and small packages that gives discounts to developing countries. Despite China’s rise to become the world’s second-largest economy, the UPU still classifies it as a “tier 3” country, meaning it qualifies for the deepest discounts. The U.S. is a “tier 1” country.

Subsidized postal rates cost the U.S. $300 million a year, with a discount ranging from 40% to 70% on an average shipment, according to the official.

Wow. $300 million per year. We need to withdraw from this disgraceful international agreement pronto before it bankrupts us. Let’s all thank Trump for having the guts to do what Barack Obama wouldn’t: put the screws to poor countries sending letters to the United States. MAGA!

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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