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The U.S. Postal Service in the E-Commerce Era: Preserving Affordable Package Delivery

  • 122 Cannon House Office Building (map)

E-commerce has exploded in recent years and with it the need for affordable and reliable package delivery services. Because the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) operates both as a traditional monopoly business (delivering first-class mail) and a competitive business (delivering packages), President Trump and some others argue that it is improperly subsidizing its package business with mail revenues in order to gain a competitive advantage over private competitors like the United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx. They argue that to ensure a fair marketplace the USPS should have to significantly increase its package shipping prices. Others, including ITIF, argue that the USPS’s critics are wrong on the facts—its package business is actually profitable and is increasingly necessary to help offset USPS’s chronic financial losses due to declines in its traditional mail business. They argue that imposing regulations to require USPS to charge more would actually lower overall package delivery productivity and hurt rural Americans.

Please join ITIF for an expert panel discussion that will examine this issue and review the impact of various USPS reform proposals.