Monday, 17 December, 2018

US Plans To Withdraw From 144 Year-old Postal Treaty

Small business owners want to see the Chinese punished with tariffs Trump pulling U.S. out of international pact on postal rates
Russell Knight | 19 October, 2018, 15:01

A senior White House official said the State Department formally notified the Universal Postal Union, a coalition of 193 countries, that the US intends to withdraw from the pact within 12 months if the administration can't negotiate more favorable shipping rates.

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.

Chinese manufacturers soon will no longer enjoy shipping discounts on products they send to the U.S.as President Donald Trump takes another step in his campaign to redress America's trade imbalance with the Asian giant. Officials said they hope the notice of withdrawal will set the stage to agree a better deal. During a talk at Harvard on Monday, Zhang Weiwei, a professor of global relations at Shanghai's Fudan University, urged the U.S.to pursue a "win-win" strategy rather than a "cold war" strategy.

"This outdated arrangement contributes significantly to the flood of counterfeit goods and risky drugs that enter the country from China", said National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons in a statement supporting the move.

News of a potential meeting between Xi and Trump comes amid growing hostilities between United States and China on a range of issues other than the trade war, including the South China Sea, Taiwan, Xinjiang and allegations of espionage. The Bush administration reportedly shifted the focus of U.S. missile defense plans from Europe to the Pacific and called for long-range weapons targeting China's growing military power.

The decision to withdraw was made at the urging of Peter Navarro, Trump's trade adviser, who sees the move as a way to thwart China and an opportunity to challenge the authority of worldwide groups, like the World Trade Organization, that, in his view, fail to give the United States voting powers commensurate with the country's economic stature.

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The massive additional tariffs imposed by the U.S. on import of Chinese products worth more than United States dollars 250 billion has not had any impact on the American economy, President Donald Trump said Wednesday.

As Pakistan is seeking assistance from the International Monetary Fund to get over its economic crisis, the Trump administration is likely to exercise its influence to ensure that before any financial assistance is granted, the monies would not be diverted to repay Chinese loans.

If it happens, it would benefit USA merchants and shippers, including Amazon.com, who say they are undercut by foreign postal services' access to low rates.

Even as the USA is open to negotiations, the self-declared rates by the country could come into effect as soon as within six months. China joined the UPU in 1914, when its economy was nearly entirely agrarian.

"They have not responded to our asks", he said.

The U.S.is willing to renegotiate the treaty over the next year but will leave the union if no agreement can be reached, the officials said. Some scholars saw impeding danger in China's increasing demand for energy resources (oil and natural gas) and export of Chinese goods with import regulation. A 1-pound package that costs the USPS about $10 to deliver can be mailed from China for just $2.50, per White House numbers.

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