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In Trump's Crosshairs: Small Packages Coming From China

Administration plans to withdraw from postal treaty
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2018 12:58 PM CDT
In this July 5, 2018, file photo, a jockey truck passes a stack of 40-foot China Shipping containers at the Port of Savannah in Savannah, Ga. President Donald Trump is preparing to pull the United States...   (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)

(Newser) – The US will throw the next punch in its trade battle with China, though this one doesn't involve the word tariffs. Politico reports the White House on Wednesday said America would pull out of a 144-year-old international postal treaty—if it had to. The process of withdrawing from the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a UN body, takes a year, and a top official tells the site the US would optimally like to stay in but have the terms changed. The AP reports that if the treaty can't be renegotiated, the US is out. As the terms stand now, China benefits big-time. We explain:

  • Lower rates: The New York Times reports that since 1969, China and other developing or poor countries have been able to gain access to the global economy by paying lower shipping rates to get small packages (up to 4.4 pounds) to international destinations; wealthier countries pick up the tab to deliver the package the distance. If the US exits the treaty, it would set its own rate for Chinese packages. It's unclear whether other countries would see new rates

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