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

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

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!

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest