On Friday, April 24, 2020, US President Donald Trump warned that the US Postal Service must raise its service charges for shipping of e-commerce firms such as Amazon.com or Amazon, otherwise, federal aid to the Postal Service would be curbed. Trump’s decision drew criticisms arguing that such a move could hurt consumers relying on especially essential items from the firms during the national lockdown prompted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump’s Attack on Bezos
Over the years, President Trump and the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos were seen involving in disputes than agreements as Bezos’ owned newspaper, the Washington Post, has been considered to be vocal against Trump’s administration. Considering that Bezos has been taking unfair advantages of the US policy, Trump had stepped up to impose new rules in service changers of shipping from e-commerce retailers.
Citing the lower cost of its service charges, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, “The Postal Service is a joke. Because they’re handing out packages for Amazon and other internet companies, and every time they bring a package, they lose money on it,” Trump insisted, “The Post Office should raise the price of a package by approximately four times,” adding that the post office officials were “very cozy” with big online merchants.
Trump had made the statements at a ceremony where a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill was set to be signed to help small businesses and hospitals for assisting tests of the virus, which has killed more than 50,000 Americans. The Postal Service officials also declared that the postal service would be completely shattered and would not be able to continue past September without federal aids. A source reported, “The US Congress has authorized the Treasury Department to lend it up to $10 billion as part of an earlier $2.3 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.”
More Burdens for Customers
US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who attended Friday’s ceremony, told reporters that the administration had informed post office officials “and actually, we are going to put certain criteria for a postal reform program as part of the loan.” The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Treasury officials have instructed top postal service officials about policy changes including the charges of services for online delivery packages.
Speaking Trump’s statement, Mnuchin reaffirmed that he would stop providing aid unless the postal service changed its services fee structures. Meanwhile, Trump tweeted, “I will never let our Post Office fail,” asserting that “The people that work there are great, and we’re going to keep them happy, healthy, and well!”
The Package Coalition, representing e-commerce retailers including Amazon and eBay, said that a surge of service charges would mean Americans would have to pay more prices. Considering Trump’s move a burden to customers, the coalition’s Chairman John McHugh stated in an email, “Now, when Americans need affordable and reliable package delivery service more than ever, Congress must fight to guarantee emergency relief for the Postal Service and stop this package tax.”
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