The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is the fundamental component of a $1.4 trillion mailing industry that employs about 7.5 million Americans in large and small business enterprises. With cumulative losses of $59 billion since 2007, USPS remains in a financially precarious position. These losses are driven by two requirements that are out of the Postal Service’s control: the requirement to prefund its retiree health benefits fund and its workers’ compensation expenses. Without action from Congress to address these issues and to provide the flexibility to create new revenue streams, the Postal Service cannot be financially solvent.
The mailing industry and the U.S. economy depend on a healthy Postal Service. Serving 153 million residents, offices and businesses across the country, the Postal Service connects people and business transactions through a sophisticated delivery infrastructure no other entity can provide. In addition, approximately one-third ($6 billion worth) of communications papers produced in the U.S. are delivered through the mail system.
AF&PA supports legislative measures that:
- Ensure the fiscal viability of the USPS by eliminating unreasonably imposed financial obligations such as benefit pre-funding and the return of Federal Employees’ Retirement System overpayments to the Postal Service
- Allows the Postal Service to innovate and develop new revenue sources
- Support service standards that meet the needs of the public and business customers, including continued six day mail delivery
- Ensures postal rate setting has checks and balances that provide price predictability for mailers and cost-control incentives for USPS
- Enable mail as a cost competitive option for business communications.
Raising rates and reducing services are counter-productive in an economy where industry and consumers are seeking faster and cheaper delivery options for communications and business transactions. These actions would simply make mail less competitive and further accelerate volume and revenue losses. Therefore, AF&PA opposes postal rate increases as the path to restore USPS financial viability, as increases above inflation levels will drive commercial mailers away from the mail system.
USPS is a vital service relied upon by all Americans and AF&PA supports reform that allows the USPS to continue serving its mission. Only Congress can provide the necessary tools through comprehensive legislation that will provide USPS with the flexibility and authority to quickly adapt to changing market needs.