After Bashing Amazon, Trump Orders Postal Service Review

Trump orders review of US Postal Service, having denounced Amazon shipping deal

President Donald Trump ordered the creation of a task force to review business practices at the United States Postal Service, a move that could affect one of the president's favorite corporate targets: Amazon.com Inc.

The President did not mention Amazon in the order but he has often railed against Amazon - in public and in private conversations with his advisers and friends - complaining about Jeffrey P. Bezos, the company's billionaire founder and chief executive, the daily said.

Some pundits argue that President Trump's tweets against the online retail juggernaut are politically driven, given that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which has been highly critical of Trump and his policies.

"The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout", said the presidential order.

Amazon largely uses the USPS, which has low fixed rates and a mandate to deliver mail to all Americans, for its so-called last-mile delivery - sorted packages are dropped off at a post office to be delivered to customers' homes along postal workers' usual routes.

Trump didn't mention Amazon by name, but it's clear who the order is meant to punish.

The task force is also charged with looking at the USPS' role in rural areas, communities and small towns - as well as the state of the USPS business model, workforce, operations, costs and pricing.

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In exchange for his cooperation, Ferrer will serve a maximum of five years in each case, to be served concurrently. Ferrer was taken into custody following a joint investigation by the Texas and California attorneys general.

The task force will be looking at issues that have been studied for years by multiple government bodies that have already issued recommendations and reports focusing on the financial stability of the Postal Service. Revenue from packages grew by more than $2 billion from the prior year, by far the most of any service category. Package deliveries have been rising year over year, so some suggest Amazon is actually helping USPS stay financially afloat.

A White House official said the presidential order was meant to come up with solutions to the problems at the Postal Service.

The Postal Service says it makes money on the Amazon deal, and it's legally prohibited from charging shippers less than its delivery costs.

It said losses by the Postal Service since the 2008 recession had amounted to $65 billion. Package volumes grew by 11.4 percent last year, according to USPS and documents show that package revenue contributed a net total of more than $7.1 billion to the agency's bottom line during fiscal year 2017.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead that task force.

Still, the demand hasn't been enough to offset its growing costs. However, experts have countered that the while the service does lose money delivering first class mail, e-commerce package deliveries are profitable.

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