Donald Trump moves to leave postal union in latest jab at China

Daniel Fowler
October 19, 2018

President Donald Trump says the 144-year-old Universal Post Union puts us businesses at a disadvantage and is used by shippers of the narcotic fentanyl to the USA from China.

The Trump administration will begin withdrawing from a United Nations pact that offered low rates for foreign postal deliveries of small packages in the United States, the latest move to challenge practices it sees as unfairly advantageous to China.

A White House official said that favourable shipment rates for developing countries let members like China undercut American companies by flooding the USA with cheap goods.

The White House has said it will notify the union on Wednesday that it is beginning the year-long withdrawal process, though senior officials said their end goal is not to withdraw, but rather to renegotiate fairer rates.

"Maybe it's about something else and maybe we're just waking up to the fact that the trade war is much bigger", said American Apparel & Footwear Association president and CEO Rick Helfenbein at last week's Sourcing Journal Summit. US shoppers could see higher bills for foreign goods ordered online.

"This outdated arrangement contributes significantly to the flood of counterfeit goods and unsafe drugs that enter the country from China", Jay Timmons, the president of the National Association of Manufacturers, said in a statement. China responded with tariffs on $110 billion worth of U.S. goods, and the government is prepared to move forward with more restrictions.

The "system creates winners and losers", the report's author's concluded, especially China's national postal service and "Chinese online retailers in the lightweight, low-value package segment at the expense of the U.S. Postal Service and American retailers". The Bush administration reportedly shifted the focus of United States missile defense plans from Europe to the Pacific and called for long-range weapons targeting China's growing military power.

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He didn't answer questions about the Times story. But Trump later declared Rosenstein's job safe. However, former FBI General Counsel James A.

Also Thursday, China's politically sensitive yuan sank to a 22-month low against the dollar after the U.S. Treasury declined to label Beijing a currency manipulator.

"He (Trump) wants that USA stays ahead, economically and is not taken over by China".

China has stopped buying USA crude and liquefied natural gas (LNG) in response to Donald Trump's decision to impose a third round of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

According to another senior administration official, there are 40 to 70 per cent discounts on packages from China to the USA compared to what it would be to send them domestically. Chinese sellers estimate shipping through the services take 10 to 20 days from China to the U.S.

Peter Navarro, Trump's uber-protectionist and anti-China adviser, attacked the UPU as part of a Financial Times op-ed in September.

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

"They have not responded to our asks", he said. On the other side, he said, the effects of the tariffs so far from a USA business perspective were "probably in the category of major annoyance" and not to the level that surpasses a rounding error to GDP growth.

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