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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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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