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.