The United States Postal Service should have more flexibility to raise rates for packages, according to recommendations from a task force set up by President Donald Trump, a move that could hurt profits of Amazon.com Inc and other large online retailers.
"Why don't we sell the postal service to Amazon?"
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. "The USPS should have the authority to charge market-based prices for both mail and package items that are not deemed 'essential services, '" the task force said in its report (PDF). President Trump has sharply criticized the Postal Service for undercharging companies for package delivery - specifically e-commerce giant Amazon.
"This was not the reason that our founders put the United States Postal Service in the Constitution", he said of the relationship with Amazon - which is owned by routine Trump foil Jeffrey Bezos. "Most of the report's recommendations, if implemented, would hurt business and individuals alike", the union said in a statement. Earlier this year, in comments to the press, Trump said, "Amazon is going to have to pay much more money to the post office".
"I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election".
The White House said the Postal Service lost $69 billion between fiscal 2007 and fiscal 2018, with "tens of billions of dollars" in losses expected over the next decade.
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".
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".
Another recommendation would be to clearly define the Postal Service's "Universal Service Obligations", which would spell out the types of mail and packages for which a strong rationale existed for government support of deliveries.
"The USPS's business model - including its governance, product pricing, cost allocation and labor practices - must be updated in light of its current operating realities", the report said.