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US: Senate Hearing on Post Office prices has been delayed

 |  September 3, 2018

A Senate hearing slated to look at overhauling the US Postal Service (USPS), including looking at what Amazon and others pay for package delivery, has been delayed.

Reuters, citing three sources familiar with the matter, reported that the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs was forced to postpone a meeting on post office reforms because although a task force ordered by President Trump in April has produced a report, the White House has decided not to release the report yet and to “indefinitely postpone” the senate hearing, which was slated for September 5. As a result, any legislation aimed at raising the rates Amazon pays for postal services will have to be pushed out in the future. The report noted that the task force had briefed Trump on the findings and recommendations earlier in August. “The task force will continue our work to identify solutions to strengthen the USPS business model driving toward a public report before the end of the year,” a US Treasury Department spokeswoman told Reuters. “It is clear that the governance of USPS must be fixed, and we encourage Congress to take actions towards that goal.”

The inquiry into the package delivery rates at the US Post Office was prompted by President Trump’s attacks on Amazon and its chief executive Jeff Bezos, who is also the owner of the Washington Post. The Washington Post has been critical of President Trump, prompting his rage at Amazon. Earlier this year shares of Amazon took a hit over worries that Trump may hurt the company’s profit. That hasn’t happened, and shares of the eCommerce giant have surged since then.

The president’s animus against the online retailer, its CEO Bezos, and the newspaper he owns is longstanding, dating back to the 2016 campaign when Trump first floated the possibility that Amazon should be examined in the context of antitrust regulations. In the latest round of Twitter attacks in late July, the president claimed the Washington Post has “gone crazy” in its negative coverage of the Trump administration in the last few months. Trump further noted that the paper’s coverage was a form of retaliation after Amazon “lost the Internet Tax Case in the US Supreme Court.”

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