Trump to Withdraw US From Postal Treaty, Squeezing China

Trump pulling U.S. out of international pact on postal rates

The UPU, which is now under the United Nations' purview, sets rates that national postal services pay to ship goods internationally.

"It creates huge costs to the USA postal system", which has to charge higher rates to American companies in a cross-subsidy, "so that costs jobs", according to a senior Trump administration official, speaking to reporters on a background briefing call. According to the Swiss body's constitution, the US can leave the treaty after one year - during which time the State Department says it hopes to negotiate for more satisfactory terms.

"We expect it to have a major impact on the counterfeiting and some impact on the narcotics", one official said. -China trade relations, already severely strained by a series of tit-for-tat tariff increases on hundreds of billions of dollars of shipments in each direction.

"Manufacturers and manufacturing workers in the United States will greatly benefit from a modernized and far more fair arrangement with China", said National Association of Manufacturers President Jay Timmons.

However, Trump in an interview with Fox News ruled out starting trade deal negotiations with China, arguing that Beijing is not ready yet for such talks. The UPU was established in 1874 and has 192 member countries.

In addition, on October 3, Reuters reported that USA crude oil shipments to China had completely stopped in recent weeks, citing China Merchants Energy Shipping Co (CMES).

The move looks likely to exacerbate the ongoing economic conflict with Beijing.

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The UPU said it regrets the move and that it plans to meet with USA officials about the issue.

The official described it as an economic distortion that the administration wanted to correct. After trading blows with Beijing this year, it now levies USD250 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods exclusively.

Officials said a number of countries were benefitting at America's expense, especially China, with which the USA has been engaged in a protracted trade war under the current administration. While the agreement is meant to give Asian and African countries incentives to develop their economies, China has used the discounted rates so effectively that it now accounts for 60 percent of the packages sent to the U.S.

Under the treaty's framework it takes a year for a country to withdraw, during which rates can be renegotiated.

"American companies should not pay more for package delivery within the United States than what the U.S. Postal Service collects to deliver packages from overseas", he said in a statement. As of 2018, United States has the world's largest economy and China being the second largest.

"So, it's hard for them to do a deal, because they've had it so good for so long; it's a very hard thing for them to do", said the U.S. president when asked why he told the Chinese that they are not ready for a trade deal yet. A 1-pound package that costs the USPS about $10 to deliver can be mailed from China for just $2.50, per White House numbers.

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