Mag Bag: Magazine Publishers Oppose Postal Rate Hike

Magazine Publishers Oppose Postal Rate Hike

Magazine publishers have joined forces with catalog mailers, direct marketers and newspaper publishers to reform the Affordable Mail Alliance. They oppose another proposed “exigent” rate hike from the U.S. Postal Service. The reconstituted AMA protested the proposed increase in a letter to the USPS Board of Governors, which is currently considering the request.
The USPS is proposing a rate increase of as much as 10% under a rule that allows “exigent” rate hikes -- when the increase is compelled by external economic factors. The AMA, whose members include MPA – The Association of Magazine Media, the Direct Marketers Association and the American Catalog Mailers Association, argues that the USPS is trying to use an exigent increase as a short-term solution to what are in reality long-term structural problems internal, not external, to the USPS.
The AMA argues that the USPS has an unnecessarily large and inefficient infrastructure, which can be reformed for considerable cost savings. The AMA also points to the position of the Postal Regulatory Commission, the independent body created by Congress to oversee the USPS, that using an exigent increase to remedy internal problems is illegal.
Last month, the USPS reported a net loss of $1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2013, prompting Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe to urge Congress yet again for permission for sweeping reforms. Donahoe said the public corporation needs to save $20 billion per year by 2016, but blamed Congress for blocking key reforms. 

In the past, Donahoe has proposed cost-cutting measures including ending Saturday delivery, scrapping legislation that requires the USPS to pre-fund health care for future retirees, closing post offices in rural areas. The USPS has also proposed generating new revenue by allowing delivery of beer and wine through the mail.

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