Political News

White House backs off privatizing the Postal Service

Posted December 4, 2018 3:03 p.m. EST

— The Treasury Department released a long-expected proposal for overhauling the US Postal Service on Tuesday that stopped short of recommending full privatization, an idea the White House floated over the summer.

President Donald Trump ordered the report in April after repeatedly attacking the Postal Service's deal with Amazon, which he said on Twitter was "making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer."

The agency has struggled to find a viable business model. It is saddled with restrictions imposed by Congress that prevent it from adapting to a decline in the volume of first-class mail.

The recommendations do not directly address contracts with individual shippers, which are confidential. But if implemented, they may affect Amazon and other large e-commerce companies, which pay the Postal Service to deliver packages to remote places that may otherwise be too expensive to serve.

The task force, which included various agency heads, consulted with associations that represent the Postal Service's major users.

Among its conclusions: The Postal Service should have the "authority to charge market-based prices for both mail and package items."