Months after President Donald Trump tweeted criticisms of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), news has surfaced that the president had personally asked U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan to double its shipping rates for Amazon and other firms. If that were to occur, Amazon and other companies could be out billions, The Washington Post (WP) reported.
Three people familiar with the matter told the WP that Brennan hasn’t followed Trump’s demand, and Brennan has reportedly told Trump that the USPS is bound to its agreements by contracts that are reviewed by a regulatory commission. In addition, Brennan has provided Trump with a deck that shows the various companies the USPS partners with — besides Amazon. However, Trump has contended that the USPS is subsidizing Amazon. He has also said that Amazon’s advantages allow it to push brick-and-mortar retailers out of business.
The news comes after Trump issued an executive order in April to create a task force to look at how to improve the USPS. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the president said in the order that the USPS was “on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout.”
Though the order didn’t mention its contracts with Amazon, it did say part of the review will be to look at pricing in the delivery of packages markets. Trump also said that the USPS has to “compete fairly in commercial markets.”
In April, Trump upped his criticism of Amazon, calling the USPS Amazon’s “delivery boy.” He has also wondered if the White House could go after the eCommerce giant from anti-trust and anti-competition grounds, and has called the WP — owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — a lobbying arm of the company.
The WSJ noted that the USPS has been losing money for years and that revenue from delivering packages has been increasing during the past few years. The USPS, according to the report, is prohibited from signing a contract that would result in it losing money.