The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) wants Amazon to pay 9 percent to 12 percent more for its shipping services. According to CNBC, the USPS proposed a 9.3 percent increase on this service for packages weighing over one pound and a 12.3 percent increase on lighter packages.
The recommendation comes after President Donald Trump issued an executive order in April to set up a task force that looks at how to improve the postal service, claiming it was on an “on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout.”
Trump has been a vocal critic of the USPS' relationship with Amazon, calling the USPS Amazon’s “delivery boy.” In May, reports surfaced that Trump had personally asked U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan to double its shipping rates for Amazon and other firms. Yet, people familiar with the matter said Brennan reportedly told Trump that the USPS is bound to its agreements by contracts that are reviewed by a regulatory commission.
In addition, she provided Trump with a deck that shows the various companies the USPS partners with — besides Amazon. That didn't do much to change Trump's mind, though. The president has continued to contend that the USPS is subsidizing Amazon, and that the eCommerce giant's advantages allow it to push brick-and-mortar retailers out of business.
Despite these recent reports, a USPS spokesperson insists that these proposed changes are not a response to Trump's criticism.
"The price increases reflect the best judgment of the Postal Service Governors, who are seeking to establish new rates that will keep the Postal Service competitive, while also providing the Postal Service with much needed revenue," the spokesperson said.
In addition, the USPS proposed a 3.9 percent increase on priority mail express, a 5.9 percent increase on priority mail and a 10 percent increase on first-class stamps. If approved by regulators, the changes will go into effect on Jan. 27, 2019.