Task Force Says Inefficiencies, Not Amazon, Behind Post Office Woes

WASHINGTON (CN) – Months after President Donald Trump angrily declared that Amazon’s alleged “Post Office scam must stop,” a Treasury Department task force on Tuesday said no such scam exists, and the post office’s perennial woes are mainly the results of changing American habits.

In a series of tweets spread out over several days last April, Trump accused the world’s largest Internet retailer of a variety of misdeeds, many either inaccurate or apparently, wholely made up.

Among them, the president said, where Amazon’s not paying its fair share of taxes, its receiving a sweetheart deal from the United States Postal Service, and founder Jeff Bezo’s supposedly setting up the Washington Post, which he owns, as a de facto lobbyist for the company.

But in Tuesday’s report, the Teasury task found that  commercial package delivery for Amazon and other e-commerce retailers was actually a profitable undertaking for the Postal Service and was not costing the United States the “massive amounts of money” the president had claimed.

The problem is, the delivery of those commercial packages is not profitable enough to offset the losses caused by Americans simply mailing fewer first-class letters in the age of email, text messages and social media.

The 74-page report, released under the authority of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, United States Postal System: A Sustainable Path Forward, with recommendations on how the Post Office can curb its financial losses.

“President Trump tasked us with conducting a thorough evaluation of the USPS, and today’s report contains achievable recommendations that fulfill the president’s goal of placing the USPS on a path to sustainability, while protecting taxpayers from undue financial burdens and providing them with necessary mail services,” Mnuchin said in a statement.

According to the Treasury Department, from 2007 to 2018, the Postal Service took a considerable hit, reporting $69 billion in red ink.

Package pricing should be considered for the service first and foremost, the report recommended.

Other recommendations include improvement of oversight by the Postal Service board of governors; a clear definition of what types of mail are deemed “essential postal services” deserving government protection; restructuring retiree benefit liabilities; and “exploring new services that will allow the USPS to exact value from its existing assets and business lines, but that present no balance sheet risk.”

The Postal Service has lost $4 billion this year despite an uptick in actual deliveries, according to the Treasury Department.

Amazon did not immediately return request for comment.

The Postal Service provides reduced rates to senders of junk mail. The term does not appear in the report.

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