After accusing Amazon for months of not paying its fair share of postage, President Trump has ordered a review of the US Postal Services finances via an executive order issued late Thursday night. The order calls for a task force to evaluate the operations and finances of the USPS. The order does not mention Amazon by name, but it seems clear that Trump is trying to back his claim that the USPS is losing many billions of dollars a year due to the financial arrangement with its biggest shipper of packages, or about $1.50 for every Amazon package it delivers. Trump may very well be correct regarding the numbers, although his rage seems misplaced. Experts, and even Trumps own advisers, have said that the enormous volume of packages shipped by Amazon have helped keep the Postal Service afloat. Rather, the long, slow decline in junk and first-class mail are the reasons for the USPSs mounting financial losses. Trumps executive order acknowledges this. A number of factors, including the steep decline in First-Class Mail volume, coupled with legal mandates that compel the USPS to incur substantial and inflexible costs, have resulted in a structural deficit, the president says in the order. The U.S.P.S. is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout. Amid ongoing public targeting of Amazon's use of the U.S. Postal Service, President Trump orders an evaluation of the USPS in executive order: "The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout." Its unclear how quickly the task force will begin its review, but it has 120 days to respond to the president with a summary of its findings and recommendations. Trump created a similar commission last year to support his claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election — a claim thoroughly debunked by election experts from both parties. The commission was dissolved in January. Trump often screams FAKE NEWS! on Twitter after The Washington Post, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, publishes incriminating stories about Trump or his administration. Last week Trump called The Post Amazons chief lobbyist, a claim hes fond of repeating. And during his presidential campaign, Trump said that Amazon had a huge anti-trust problem and is getting away with murder, tax-wise. It all makes you wonder what Trumps real angle is.
He has complained that Amazon's USPS deal is costly for taxpayers. President Trump recently tweeted that the US Postal Service's deal with Amazon was bad for taxpayers, but he has now taken his complaints beyond social media, the New York Times reported. The White House has convened a task force to examine the service's operations and "conduct a thorough evaluation of the operations and finances of the USPS," the order states. Trump has said that the USPS loses $1.50 for every Amazon package it delivers. However, experts have countered that the while the service does lose money delivering first class mail, e-commerce package deliveries are profitable. In 2017 they brought in $19.5 billion, up 11.4 percent over the year prior. Trump ordered the task force to look at how the USPS does package deliveries with companies like Amazon, and also at declines in mail volume. " A number of factors, including the steep decline in first-class mail volume, coupled with legal mandates that compel the USPS to incur substantial and inflexible costs, have resulted in a structural deficit," the order states. " The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout." Amazon also uses all major logistics companies in the US. Amazon does use USPS but, if an arrangement were to become uneconomic to Amazon, Amazon has plenty of options. What are the options for the USPS? Trump's Amazon Twitter tirades have often coincided with negative press from the Washington Post, a paper owned privately by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Experts have noted that its nearly unprecedented for a sitting president to criticize a US business, and some of those rants have actually caused the company's stock to fall. In any case, revenue the USPS makes from Amazon helps offset unprofitable parts of its business, so raising rates to gain more revenue may produce the opposite outcome, said financial analyst Scott Devitt. " Amazon also uses all major logistics companies in the US," he wrote in a report. "Amazon does use USPS but, if an arrangement were to become uneconomic to Amazon, Amazon has plenty of options. What are the options for the USPS?"