George Landrith: USPS’s ‘Stupid, Counterproductive’ ePacket Program Benefits China At Expense of American Business

United States Postal Service trucks August 25, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Washington, DC

George Landrith, President and CEO of the public policy think tank Frontiers of Freedom, tells Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon how a United States Postal Service (USPS) international shipping discount is giving Chinese merchants an unfair advantage over their American counterparts by making it cheaper to ship an item internationally from China to the United States than domestically state-to-state.

Said Landrith, in discussing buying anything from computer cables to other small to medium items, “If I buy that from a manufacturer across town, or across state, I’ll pay First Class postage … generally speaking, somewhere between $9 and $15 in shipping costs. If I buy that same package from China, I’ll pay 94 cents.”

He goes on to explain that so called free shopping is a myth and manufactures must build it into their pricing, while the sweetheart deal for China helps to gut American businesses and manufacturers.

He called the USPS program “stupid” and “counterproductive,” adding, “there is no good reason for this.”

The AP recently reported on the issue here.

The United States Postal Service lost $75 million in 2014 thanks to the UPU deal with China, according to the testimony of David Williams, inspector general of the USPS, and the Postal Service received 27 million ePackets in fiscal year 2012. Each packet lost the post office $1.10 on average.

The losses caused by the entrance of Chinese sellers into the online marketplace are something that needs attention in the next round of negotiations, Williams said.

“The UPU’s mission is as relevant as when the institution was created. But, like many enterprises, the UPU system has been greatly disrupted by globalization and the digital age,” Williams told the committee.

An Amazon executive named Paul Misener told the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Government Reform last summer that the rates were unfair and illogical.

The deal creating the ePacket system with China Post makes it cheaper to ship from thousands of miles away than within the same state. Shipping a one-pound parcel from Greenville, South Carolina, to New York would cost the domestic shipper nearly $6, Misener said, while a Beijing seller would pay $3.66 in postage.

“At high volumes, especially for low-priced items, such dramatic shipping cost differences can make or break a small ecommerce business,” he said.

There’s more information on Landrith and the Frontiers of Freedom think tank here.

Since 1998, George Landrith has served as the President and CEO of Frontiers of Freedom – a public policy think tank devoted to promoting a strong national defense, free markets, individual liberty, and constitutionally limited government. Frontiers of Freedom is recognized as a national leader on many of the most important issues facing America today – including: national security and defense, constitutional law, market-based environmental solutions, energy, tax reform, property rights, and regulatory reform.

Breitbart News Daily airs from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern weekdays on SiriusXM Patriot 125.