Washington, DC – The Coalition for a 21 st Century Postal Service (C21), an organization of the private sector mailing industry, issued the following statement in response to the creation of the President’s Task Force on the United States Postal System:
The Task Force on the Postal System that the President created yesterday will bring additional focus and attention to a Postal Service facing daunting challenges. Restructuring the system and its business model is necessary but is an in-depth project that will take time. We hope the Task Force will provide productive recommendations. In doing so, we believe it’s essential that this be an open and transparent process that will fully engage the business community which generates 90% of USPS’ revenues and whose continued engagement is critical to its future.
Unfortunately, time is a luxury that the Postal Service and its users do not have. A part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, USPS provides services to all Americans, very notably in rural areas, enabling medications to be delivered to seniors and others, charities to raise money, and businesses of all types to thrive. But mail volumes and revenues have been shrinking dramatically for ten years, largely driven by diversion of mail to electronic alternatives. While its shipping business is growing substantially courtesy of e-commerce, package growth will not offset mail losses. Meanwhile, unreasonable mandates from Congress have forced USPS to default on $41 billion in payments for pension and retiree health obligations.
In the face of this, USPS and mailers may soon confront a major price rise. If a proposal by the Postal Regulatory Commission becomes final later this year as expected, far more mail will almost certainly leave the system, making a bad situation worse. Two bipartisan bills are pending in Congress that can stabilize USPS for the short-medium term. At no cost to taxpayers, these “Postal Reform Act(s)” would lift $10s of billions from the USPS balance sheet. USPS draws no taxpayer funding now, and the industry believes it is vital to keep it that way.
C21 urges the Task Force to endorse, and Congress to act on, S. 2629 and HR 756 to stabilize USPS now. Then, it and the Administration can turn to longer-term solutions this still indispensable institution needs to continue its vital mission for the American public.
C21 consists of business mailing associations and companies – newspapers, advertisers, catalogers, e-commerce, parcels, greeting cards, financial services, telecommunications, insurance, small businesses of every kind, paper, printing, technology, envelope manufacturing, mail services, who understand the essential role of USPS and want it sustained for the future.