Nearly 150 countries meet to discuss US plans to exit international postal rate system

Delegates from nearly 150 countries met Tuesday to try to prevent a potential massive disruption to the international postal service if President Trump pulls out of a United Nations agency that governs global postal rates, The New York Times reported

The U.S. has threatened to leave the Universal Postal Union (UPU) over frustration with discounts that allow China and some other nations to ship products into the U.S. at cheaper rates than American companies receive to ship domestically.

The fees for Chinese packages, which have been in place since 1969, were modified and partly raised in 2016, but the administration has argued the changes did not go far enough.

Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro said at the UPU’s meeting that the U.S. has been working with other countries to find a solution for a system “that everyone knows is broken,” according to the Times.

Navarro also warned that the U.S. was also preparing for a “seamless exit” from the agency.

The administration has previously signaled interest in modifying the UPU to move to a system of “self-declared rates” that would allow the U.S. Postal Service to set its own prices for shipping international packages of all sizes.

Currently, the Postal Service is only permitted to use self-declared rates on packages more than 4.4 pounds.

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