PostCom: Let USPS Negotiate International Mail Rates

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The government should allow the U.S. Postal Service free reign to negotiate rates for international mail transport with air carriers, the Association of Postal Commerce told the U.S. Department of Transportation in comments filed this week.

PostCom made its filing in response to a request for comments from the DOT on a proposal to investigate current methods used to set international air mail transport rates. The best solution would be for the DOT to stay out of regulating the rates and let the postal service and carriers determine rates on their own, according to the market, PostCom said.

However, if the DOT decides not to go this route, an investigation is needed because the current rates set by the DOT are excessive and unfair to the USPS and its customers.

"The rates have become misaligned with both market rates and underlying costs," PostCom said in the filing. "The result is that the postal service is paying for more than it should for the carriage of international mail. In turn, PostCom members are paying more than they should for postal services."

Another alternative -- allowing rate adjustments based on the changing price of fuel -- wouldn't work, PostCom said. Because of a lack of price flexibility and the lengthy process of changing mailing rates, the postal service could never keep up with changes in fuel prices quickly enough.

Scott Hovanyetz covers telemarketing, production and printing and direct response TV marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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