Trump moves to pull out of global postal treaty in his latest move against China

  • The White House said the United Nations treaty enables foreign postal services, especially China, to take advantage of cheap shipments to the U.S.
  • One official said the system allowed for a 40 percent to 70 percent discount on small packages coming in from China to the United States.
  • The move is the latest by President Donald Trump's administration to distance itself from international multi-lateral organizations and accompanying policies that it feels are hurtful to the United States.

The United States will begin withdrawing from the Universal Postal Union, a United Nations treaty that lowered rates for foreign postal deliveries in the United States, senior White House officials said on Wednesday.

The White House said the treaty enables foreign postal services to take advantage of cheap shipments to the United States, especially China, creating an unfair cost advantage over U.S. companies that ship goods, and hurting the income of the U.S. Postal Service.

"People are getting hurt in this country by an unfair system," one official told reporters on a conference call.

The move is the latest by President Donald Trump's administration to distance itself from international multi-lateral organizations and accompanying policies that it feels are hurtful to the United States.

Packages are seen on a conveyor belt with other small parcels at the United States Postal Service (USPS) sorting center in Louisville, Kentucky.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Packages are seen on a conveyor belt with other small parcels at the United States Postal Service (USPS) sorting center in Louisville, Kentucky.

The White House will seek to renegotiate the terms of the treaty even as it begins the process to withdraw, the officials said.

One official said the system allowed for a 40 percent to 70 percent discount on small packages coming in from China to the United States compared to what it would cost to send them domestically, costing $300 million.

UPU did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The National Association of Manufacturers called the treaty "outdated" and said it "contributes significantly to the flood of counterfeit goods and dangerous drugs that enter the country from China.