USPS Reform Imperative

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is a vital service relied upon by all Americans. The USPS supports a $1.4 trillion mailing industry that employs 7.5 million people through which small and large businesses, nonprofits and consumers send and receive products.

Approximately 39 percent, or nearly $6.5 billion worth, of communications papers produced in the U.S. are delivered through the mail system. In FY2017, the USPS also delivered 5.7 billion parcels that contain paper-based packaging materials. AF&PA supports reform measures that allow the USPS to continue serving its mission.

Postal Service Financial Uncertainty

The USPS has posted a net loss every year for 11 years. As the volume of mail declines and the number of delivery points increases, the USPS cannot generate sufficient funds to cover its mandated expenses and invest in critically-deferred infrastructure. While the USPS has implemented cost-cutting measures, without legislative reforms by Congress and regulatory action from the Postal Regulatory Commission to make mail delivery a competitive choice, the USPS will not be financially solvent.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Eliminate unreasonably-imposed employee and retiree health benefit obligations;
  • Allow the USPS to innovate and develop new revenue sources;
  • Support service standards that meet the needs of the public, including continued six-day delivery;
  • Ensure rate setting has checks and balances that provide price predictability for mailers and cost-control incentives for USPS;
  • Enable mail as a cost competitive option for business communications; and
  • Do not raise rates or reduce services in ways which would make mail less competitive and accelerate volume and revenue losses.