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In Showdown, Trump Abruptly Unveils Postal Service Task Force As Bezos Launches “Shipping With Amazon”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following on from his caustic comments towards Jeff Bezos’ company:

“Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy. Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne by the American Taxpayer. “

As The New York Times reports, Postal Service experts and even Mr. Trump’s own advisers have privately urged him to back off the accusations, noting that the huge number of packages shipped by Amazon is actually helping to keep the Postal Service financial solvent.

But the president has refused to believe those arguments, insisting in a tweet as recently as March 31 that “the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars.”

And so, President Trump has unveiled (at 9pm on a Thursday night) an executive order (below) creating a task force on the US Postal System to examine the service’s “unsustainable financial path” and directed the new group to “conduct a thorough evaluation of the operations and finances of the USPS,” and took a direct shot across Amazon’s bow: “Evaluating… the expansion and pricing of the package delivery market.”

But, just as The White House released the text of the Executive Order, Bloomberg reports that Jeff Bezos is preparing to launch “Shipping with Amazon” to disrupt the shipping industry…

Amazon is getting ready to launch “Shipping with Amazon” which may be a major disruption to the current shipping industry. Insights via @CMEGroup pic.twitter.com/j0oESvSDxT

— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) April 13, 2018

We call it a tie… for now… as the Billionaires battle it out.

*  *  *

Full Executive Order:

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 12, 2018

EXECUTIVE ORDER

- – - – - – -

TASK FORCE ON THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SYSTEM

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the UnitedStates of America, Ihereby order the following:

_Section_ _ 1_. _Policy_. (a) The UnitedStates Postal Service (USPS) accounts for almost half of global mail volume and is regularly cited as the Federal agency with the highest public approval rating. However, a number of factors, including the steep decline in First-Class Mail volume, coupled with legal mandates that compel the USPS to incur substantial and inflexible costs, have resulted in a structural deficit* *where revenues are no longer sufficient to fund the pension liabilities and retiree health obligations owed to current employees. The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout. This finding is supported by the following considerations, among others:

(i) the USPS has incurred $65billion of cumulative losses since the 2007-2009 recession;

(ii) the USPS has been unable to make payments required by law for its retiree health benefit obligations, which totaled more than $38billion at the end of fiscal year2017; and

(iii) the Government Accountability Office has had the USPS on its high-risk list since 2009 because of a serious financial situation that puts the USPS mission of providing prompt, reliable, and efficient universal mail services at risk.

(b) It shall be the policy of my Administration that the UnitedStates postal system operate under a sustainable business model to provide necessary mail services to citizens and businesses, and to compete fairly in commercial markets.

_Sec_. _ 2_. _Establishment_. (a) There is hereby established a Task Force on the UnitedStates Postal Service (Task Force), to be chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury, as Secretary and as Chairman of the Federal Financing Bank, or his designee, to evaluate the operations and finances of the USPS. In addition to the Chair of the Task Force (Chair), the Task Force shall be composed of the following department and agency heads, or their designees:

(i) the Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

(ii) the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; and

(iii) any other department and agency head the Chair may designate.

(b) The Task Force shall consult with the Postmaster General and the Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission.

(c) The Task Force shall also engage:

(i) the Attorney General, on issues relating to government monopolies operating in the commercial marketplace;

(ii) the Secretary of Labor, on issues related to workers compensation programs; and

(iii) State, local, and tribal officials as determined by the Chair of the Task Force with input from the Task Force members.

(d) The Task Force shall meet as required by the Chair and, unless extended by the Chair, shall be dissolved once it has accomplished the objectives set forth in sections3 and 4, as determined by the Chair, and completed the report described in section5 of this order.

_Sec_. _ 3_. _Evaluation_. The Task Force shall conduct a thorough evaluation of the operations and finances of the USPS, including:

(i) the expansion and pricing of the package delivery market and the USPS’s role in competitive markets;

(ii) the decline in mail volume and its implications for USPS self-financing and the USPS monopoly over letter delivery and mailboxes;

(iii) the definition of the “universal service obligation” in light of changes in technology, ecommerce, marketing practices, and customer needs;

(iv) the USPS role in the U.S. economy and in rural areas, communities, and small towns; and

(v) the state of the USPS business model, workforce, operations, costs, and pricing.

_Sec_. _ 4_. _Recommendations for Reform_. The Task Force shall develop recommendations for administrative and legislative reforms to the United States postal system.

(a) Such recommendations shall promote our Nation’s commerce and communication without shifting additional costs to taxpayers. The recommendations shall be developed in a manner that is consistent with the proposed plan to reorganize the executive branch as required by Executive Order13781 of March13, 2017.

(b) Such recommendations shall also consider the views of the USPS workforce; commercial, non-profit, and residential users of the USPS services; and competitors in the marketplace.

_Sec_. _ 5_. _Report_. The Task Force, acting through the Chair and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall submit a report to the President, in coordination with the Directors of the Domestic Policy and National Economic Councils, not later than 120days after the date of this order. In its report, the Task Force shall summarize its findings and recommendations under sections3 and 4 of this order.

_Sec_. _ 6_. _Administration_. The Federal Financing Bank shall provide administrative support and funding for the Task Force.

_Sec_. _ 7_. _General Provisions_. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the UnitedStates, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,

April 12, 2018.


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  1. Every time I read something about this (expletive) in the White House, it’s something more that convinces me what a (expletive) moron he actually is. The problem is, the (expletive) that he was running against was no better, just different. Personally, I’m really (expletive) tired of seeing the people of this country taken advantage of by all these (expletive) (expletive) at the highest levels of government. For (expletive) sake, can’t we do any better than this?