OH: American Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Ultra-Cheap Shipping From China.
“At today’s rates, the shipping of a 100-gram parcel to Fairfax, Virginia, would cost a small business in Marion, North Carolina, at least $1.94…but it would cost a company in Shanghai only $1.12,” Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president for global public policy, told Congress in 2015. “This has left thousands of American small businesses at a competitive disadvantage against foreign competition…because of the size of the hidden shipping subsidies.”
Foreign mail weighing less than 4.4 pounds arrives at U.S. “transfer points,” where it is then distributed by the USPS like regular domestic mail, but at subsidized “terminal dues” rates set by the UPU, not by the U.S. Postal Service.
An “extraordinary congress” convened by the UPU in October finally addressed the disparity. UPU members voted to allow the U.S. and other countries to set new reimbursement rates beginning in July 2020. Terminal dues could increase anywhere from 125 percent to 600 percent, according to Cathy Roberson of Air Cargo World. Whatever the change, American tax dollars will no longer be used to benefit one group of businesses over another.