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Mon Sep 23, 2019, 01:13 PM

Global postal union meets amid Trump threat to pull US out

Source: Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — The effects of President Donald Trump’s standoff with China could soon be coming to a post office near you — and higher shipping rates for some types of mail are the likely outcome.

The Trump administration is threatening to pull the United States out of the 145-year-old Universal Postal Union, complaining that some postal carriers like China’s aren’t paying enough to have foreign shipments delivered to U.S. recipients.

A showdown looms at a special UPU congress that is being held Tuesday to Thursday in Geneva.

The complaint centers on the reimbursement that the U.S. Postal Service receives for providing final deliveries of bulky letters and small parcels sent from abroad — usually ones not weighing more than 2 kilograms (about 4½ pounds). Such mail can include high-value items like mobile phones, memory sticks or pharmaceuticals.

Read more: https://www.apnews.com/43412684069a466b988e73bcb6f55689



-snip-

The State Department last year formally indicated that the United States would quit the UPU, an organization it helped create, on Oct. 17 if reforms can’t be agreed. The administration says the United States will start setting its own rates for reimbursement — so-called “self-declared rates” — whether or not it stays in.

Some have dubbed the withdrawal prospect “Pexit,” short for “Postal Exit” — a cheeky allusion to Brexit, Britain’s impending departure from the European Union, which likewise carries great uncertainties.

It’s unclear what exactly would happen if the U.S. pulls out of the postal group. Some influencing factors include whether non-postal operators can fill the void or how soon bilateral deals between the United States and postal partners could be enacted. One thing many fear from the move: mail backlogs that start piling up.

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Reply Global postal union meets amid Trump threat to pull US out (Original post)
turbinetree Sep 23 OP
machoneman Sep 23 #1
Fan of Da Bearse Sep 23 #3
BumRushDaShow Sep 23 #7
Chin music Sep 23 #2
Igel Sep 23 #8
bucolic_frolic Sep 23 #4
murielm99 Sep 23 #5
Hestia Sep 23 #9
KY_EnviroGuy Sep 23 #6
yaesu Sep 23 #10

Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 01:35 PM

1. Jaysus Christ, why didn't Fred Trump pull out?

I mean, we wouldn't have this clown to deal with!

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Response to machoneman (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 02:22 PM

3. My Very First Thought

 

Kudos!

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Response to machoneman (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 06:02 PM

7. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)


Response to Chin music (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 06:04 PM

8. In a sense.

But this is just a discussion about offshoring.

We don't like it and were opposed to it for decades because it cost Americans jobs--typically higher-wage lower-skill jobs. But also because the labor conditions "there" (wherever "there" was at the time) were crappier.

At the same time, we love offshoring when we do it. Live in Tucson and head to Nogales for cheaper prescriptions, dental care, etc.? Wonderful.

I've bought things from China a time or two; my wife regularly receives a package or two a week from China. In my case, shipping from China was less expensive than shipping from San Francisco. She admits that she can get the same thing from US providers and sometimes manufacturers, but not only is the price from China just barely undercutting the US prices, but the shipping makes China the clear winner. The only difference is patience--and she can afford to wait a week or two longer. And she's clear on that point--the difference in cost between the US and China is immense, and she knows that the Chinese manufacturers are still raking in money from their lower labor costs. It's the postal union rates that make the real difference.

This is distinct from M-bag rates, which are stunning in their cheapness (and length of shipping time), but which is effectively media mail for large lumps of paper pulp with printing on it.

Contrast that with what I just got today from amazon.fr. The shipping from there was a lot more than anything but overnight shipping in the US. I priced things in the US to compare, and found I could get them in the US--at much higher prices. But factoring in shipping, and the French stuff was still a lot more expensive for the same shipping times. The only thing making the French-sold things cheaper was ordering them in late August and getting them in late September. (It was the same when I bought some of Simon Fischer's works from his UK site--could buy them here, but patience = $.)

Now, offshoring is a way for an underdeveloped country to bring in business, and the postal tariffs reflect this, and the state of affairs from quite a few decades back. The Chinese shipping rates aren't that much lower than rates I've run into from Beirut or Teheran (I have this thing about language study, hard to get good materials for Arabic and Farsi at the local Barnes and Noble). But China's come from behind where those countries are to clearly significantly ahead.

Increase the postal rates to China, and some Americans will pay for the stuff they can't get here; others will suddenly find that buying domestically (or from Indonesia) is a more frugal option.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 02:48 PM

4. Is Trump after the postal unions, or Amazon?

or both?

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 03:35 PM

5. He is after Amazon,

but he could be after the overseas absentee voting as well.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 08:14 PM

9. I think he is after the US Post Office - funny, when he started squawking about Bezos,

amazon starts up their own delivery service, cutting USPS out all together. Just one more nail in the take over of the USPS. I still pay utility bills via check, so they'll have something to deliver.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 04:55 PM

6. They're going after the direct mail order business from China.

A lot of folks these day order goods directly from Chinese on-line stores and depend on dirt-cheap shipping costs for an advantage over Amazon and other on-line vendors like Walmart. The final leg of shipments involves transfer to USPO, the rates for which are set in these international agreements. Pulling out of that agreement or radically increasing rates will put this business in turmoil.

My perspective is that many people simply will not buy those millions of cheap items anymore due to increased costs, once they see the billing for shipping.

The real irony is that most all the shit we buy these days is made overseas and all the corporations we buy from are international and in no way can be considered "American".

KY......

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 23, 2019, 08:51 PM

10. This is true, subsidized postage, and I have taken advantage of it. I've repaired a lot of older

electronics over the years and hard to get parts are always available from China. Also, lots of dirt cheap ebay goods if you don't mind the wait.

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