President Donald Trump has said he will not approve a $ 10 billion loan for the US Postal Service unless the agency increases fees for Amazon and other large mailers to four to five times current rates
The President was responding to a question about reports that his administration was considering imposing major changes in postal operations as a price for the approval of a $ 10 billion loan included in the $ 2 trillion economic bailout. government dollars.
Under the bailout legislation, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin must approve the loan before the Postal Service can receive the money. Postal service officials had no immediate reaction to Trump’s comments.
Trump has said the changes the administration will insist on will make it a “whole new ball game” for the Postal Service. He said the Postal Service didn’t want to make the changes because they didn’t want to offend Amazon and other companies.
Looking at Mnuchin, who was with him in the Oval Office, the President said, “If they don’t increase the price for the service they render … I’m not signing anything and I’m not allowing you to do what. whether it be. . “
Mnuchin told reporters he had Treasury officials working with the Postal Service on the terms of the loan if postal officials decided they needed more money.
“We will publish certain criteria for (a) the postal reform program as part of the loan,” Mnuchin said. He said the Postal Services Board was already looking for a new Postmaster General to lead the agency and undertake operational reforms.
The Washington Post, which first reported administration pressure for changes to the Postal Service, quoted unnamed officials as saying senior Postal Service officials were told the administration wanted to use the $ 10 billion loan. dollars as leverage to influence the amount charged by the agency for delivery. packages and how she manages her finances.
Trump has complained for years that the Postal Service was operated by Amazon and other mailers and that was why the agency was losing so much money. But analysts said efforts to sharply raise fees by big shippers like Amazon could backfire by raising prices above those charged by competitors like UPS and FedEx.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, when asked about the administration’s efforts on Friday, said the Postal Service enjoys broad support from the American people and the administration threatens to harm a critical part of the economy .
“This is really dangerous and Mnuchin of the Treasury is trying to take advantage of the debt situation in a way that needs to be stopped,” Pelosi told reporters.
Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post. Trump has often called the Post “fake news” after the newspaper reported unfavorable developments during his campaign and his presidency and highlighted Bezos’ connection by calling him “Amazon Washington Post.”
Trump, however, tweeted on Friday that he would not let the post fail.
“It has been mismanaged for years, especially since the advent of the internet and modern technology,” Trump said in a tweet. “The people who work there are great, and we’re going to keep them happy, healthy and well!”