SIIA, Broad Mailing Industry Urges Congress to Refrain from Increasing Postal Rates

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On Monday, SIIA joined with a broad coalition of postal customers urging Congress to leave the postal rate-making process to Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).  While digital content is at the heart of most SIIA member company business models, many of our members remain committed to the Postal Service and its long-term viability for continued delivery of periodicals and first class mail to customers. 

Founded alongside the Constitution, the U.S. Postal Service has remained an independent agency that executes private delivery services and sets the rates of postage paid by individuals and businesses.  It’s no secret that the postal service is facing substantial fiscal challenges.  But the big picture is not entirely bleak.  Coming off back-to-back years of operating surplus in 2014 and 2015, and record breaking commercial traffic this holiday season, the Postal Service is poised to see this positive trend continue through the Fall with the onset of the national election.

The Postal Service acknowledges that it faces many problems due to the rapid technological changes that have transformed modern communications.  In fact, the Postal Service is committed to adopting changes to improve financial stability and long term effectiveness. For example, there is a general consensus among the Postal Service community that Medicare should be integrated and retiree benefit obligations should be restructured within the agency. Clearly, the Postal Service seeks to adapt and work towards reform and modernization.

Additionally, the PRC has long been in place as an effective watchdog to evaluate and review the pricing system and finances of the Postal Service, and they will commence a rate review process at the end of this year to evaluate the performance and revenue needs of the postal service, and to take input from customers.

While we appreciate Congressional oversight and consideration of comprehensive postal reform, a Congressionally-mandated rate increase is not only unnecessary at this time, but also imprudent.  Such an increase would affect billions of pieces of mail and put significant cost pressure on small periodicals publishers already facing significant advertising cost pressure. 

The full text of the letter can be found here.

Niko Nikola Marcich is an intern with the SIIA Policy team. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia studying foreign affairs and international economics.