National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on trade talks with China and US tensions with Saudi Arabia and the Trump administration's efforts to reduce regulations.
Those lower rates for developing countries were added to the treaty in 1969; they were meant to foster development in Asia and Africa by making it easier for businesses in those places to ship goods internationally.
The action by the White House has been attributed by many sources as a response to UPU rates favoring other countries, with China singled out most frequently. (There is precedent: The Obama administration hammered out a limited postal compromise directly with Beijing, though this still left the Chinese with a big advantage.) The U.S. could then have more leverage to seek bilateral and multilateral deals with India and other countries that don't merit postal subsidies.
The administration announced Wednesday that it had begun withdrawing from the United Nations agency that negotiates worldwide postal rates because the organization had failed to address global discounts the USA calls unfair.
A better strategy would be for the White House to reach a fairer arrangement as part of its larger trade negotiations with China, superseding the Universal Postal Union's rates.
Under the UPU's "terminal dues" system, developing countries - a group that includes China - pay less to foreign carriers for delivering their overseas mail than their "developed" counterparts. Lower rates are created to help poorer countries manage the costs. We are therefore naturally concerned by any potential fragmentation of the Universal Postal Union system.
The decision to withdraw from the UPU, which is now a part of the United Nations system, became the next step of the tramp against the established system of global multilateral agreements and treaties to which the us President accuses of undermining U.S. competitiveness.
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"The United States of America is among the founding members of the UPU and has over the years made a tremendous, positive contribution to the Union". It will also affect companies based outside of the United States that ship to USA customers. The treaty was last modified in 2016 to raise some shipping costs on Chinese exports.
Trump's order that the US Postal Service withdraw from an obscure 192-nation postal treaty threatens to hit American shoppers who have grown used to bargains on platforms such as EBay Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.
In the meantime, the United States will be engaging with countries around the world on this issue, the official said. "It is, therefore, regrettable that the U.S. has taken this step", the UPU official noted.
Withdrawing from the UPU is yet another move in what some trade experts are beginning to see as a wider effort to fundamentally change the U.S. But so far, the administration has passed up four opportunities to do so in a report that the administration is required by law to deliver to Congress every six months.
The U.S. and China are already locked in a trade war.
Information for this article was contributed by Glenn Thrush of The New York Times; by Justin Sink and Alyza Sebenius of Bloomberg News; by Danielle Paquette of The Washington Post; and by Zeke Miller, Martin Crutsinger and Paul Wiseman of The Associated Press.