Retailers launch ad blitz opposing Trump’s demand for higher Postal Service delivery rates

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An Amazon-backed alliance of online retailers has launched an advertising campaign pushing back on President Trump’s calls for the U.S. Postal Service to increase delivery rates for packages, planning to spend over $2 million to marshal Republican opposition to the idea.

The group, the Package Coalition, will run its ads Wednesday night on Fox News’ “Hannity,” one of the president’s favorite shows. It does not single out Trump by name but says the proposed 400 percent rate increase would constitute a “massive package tax” that would affect small businesses and individuals who receive prescription drugs through the mail, according to The New York Times.

“All of these companies know that in order to keep that market competitive and to keep operations most efficient, an affordable U.S.P.S. involvement is absolutely essential,” former Army Secretary John M. McHugh, who serves as the group’s chairman, said in a statement, calling Trump’s proposal “dangerous.”

The president has previously said he will not approve any coronavirus stimulus that includes funds for the cash-strapped Postal Service unless it raises its rates. House Democrats have backed a request by the USPS Board of Governors that would include an infusion of $25 billion, and bipartisan support for the measure could increase the odds of backing from the president.

“We believe that we have to make sure the Postal Service, which is at risk of going bankrupt, will not,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Wednesday, according to the Times.

Trump has repeatedly accused the Postal Service of giving Amazon preferential treatment, which aides have said ties back to his personal enmity toward founder Jeff Bezos, who is also the owner of the Washington Post. Trump recently falsely claimed the Postal Service lost money with each package it delivered for online retailers, according to the Times.

“For whatever reason, you can imagine, they don’t want to insult Amazon and these other groups,” Trump said in late April. “If they don’t raise the price, I’m not signing anything.”

Tags Donald Trump Jeff Bezos Steny Hoyer

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