A new Postal Service Reform Act has been introduced in Congress, aimed at preserving and strengthening the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) through a variety of changes. Representatives from both parties are discussing similar bills in the House and Senate. These bills represent an opportunity to fix decades-long USPS challenges.
While the proposals include important measures that Domtar and other industry groups support — such as freeing the USPS from prefunding billions of dollars in retiree benefits — they do not protect against the significant rate increases highlighted in a recently released 10-year strategic plan.
Domtar, along with other members of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service (C21), has offered support for aspects of the postal service reform bills, but warns that dramatic price increases and service downgrades included in the 10-year plan will hurt businesses, nonprofits, consumers and the USPS.
Our government relations team also is collaborating with partners in the American Forest & Paper Association and the Envelope Manufacturers Association on advocacy for postal service reform issues.
Why Postal Service Reform Matters
“The USPS receives no taxpayer funding aside from a recent COVID-related grant, and businesses generate more than 90 percent of its revenues. Rate hikes triple and quadruple (the rate of) inflation, paired with decreased service, will drive many U.S. companies either out of business or drive them away from using USPS for their business,” says Art Sackler, executive director of C21 in a statement released on behalf of members.
“With further attention from Congress, this legislation can help guarantee affordable, reliable mail and shipping options for recovering businesses large and small, and more importantly, preserve a lifeline for millions of Americans, especially those living in rural areas,” he adds.
The USPS relies on revenue from postage stamps sales, package shipping, and other products and services to fund its operations. Because of changes in revenue and volume, the USPS already announced a plan to increase rates in August, raising the price of a first-class stamp from 55 cents to 58 cents. The proposal also will affect other classes of mail.
The proposed increases “will impose new and substantial costs to the detriment of the American public and businesses, especially small businesses, nonprofits and charities, consumers generally … and, of course, the millions of jobs postal-reliant businesses support,” according to a letter from the coalition to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security in early June.
Take Action on Postal Service Reform
Domtar advocates that Congress amend the Postal Service Reform Act to require reconsideration of a recent regulatory decision giving the USPS the right to impose much higher rates and to allow investment of some USPS funds for better returns than permitted under current law.
Consumers can send comments about this postal service reform proposal to their representatives by filling out this form OR by texting MAIL to 52886.
Also, please consider purchasing stamps and mailing handwritten notes to your family and friends. More than 90 percent of people enjoy receiving personal mail, such as cards and letters, and using the USPS is one way to contribute to its revenue and reduce the likelihood of future rate hikes.