AF&PA Urges Congress to Return financial Viability to the U.S. Postal Service
AF&PA supports legislative measures that will enable the U.S. Postal Service to become financially self-sufficient and compete in today’s business environment. Comprehensive postal reform that supports long-term cost reductions, allows new revenue sources, relieves USPS of unfair financial obligations and satisfies the service needs of the nation are needed for the Postal Service to remain viable.
The USPS is the essential component of a $1 trillion mailing industry that employs approximately 8 million Americans in large and small business enterprises as diverse as advertising, printing, paper manufacturing, publishing, and financial services.
Approximately one-third, or $6 billion of printing and writing paper produced in the U.S. is delivered through the mail system.
With losses accumulating at a rate of $25 million per day, the USPS is facing unprecedented challenges to adapt to the evolving nature of how people communicate and conduct business. As mail volume shrinks, the current Postal Service business model is not sustainable. Changes in technology will continue at a rapid rate, and only Congress can provide the necessary tools through legislation that will provide USPS with the flexibility and authority to quickly adapt to changing market needs. The mailing industry and the U.S. economy depends on a healthy Postal Service.
AF&PA is working with USPS leadership and Congress to ensure that stakeholders and policymakers understand the supply side and market implications of proposed Postal Service changes.
AF&PA advocates postal reform solutions that:
Ensure the fiscal viability of the USPS by reducing operations and labor costs, and eliminating unreasonable financial obligations;
- Modernize the business model to enable innovation and new revenue sources;
- Support service models that meet the needs of citizens and customers; and
- Enable mail as a cost competitive option for business communications.
AF&PA opposes postal rate increases as the path to restore USPS financial viability.
The critical problems of overcapacity and falling demand for mail cannot be solved by raising prices. Rate increases have a direct correlation to a decline in mail. Postal rate increases above the inflation level will drive customers away, further accelerating the diversion of mail to other options.
AF&PA opposes reducing weekly mail service delivery to 5 days.
AF&PA strongly believes that a reduction in mail service in order to cut costs will be counter productive and could further drive mail volume out of the system. We believe that there are numerous options for achieving cost savings through reductions in labor costs, the processing network and other efficiencies before considering reductions in service.
The Postal Service should be allowed to use its most valuable asset-the network that gives it the ability to deliver mail to every address on a regular basis- in new and innovative ways to meet customer demand and to offer new delivery products.
If Congress does not act soon, USPS could be forced to take more drastic actions that could have disruptive, negative effects on customers, employees and the availability of postal services.