President Donald Trump is withdrawing the United States from a long-standing international agreement that lowers shipping costs for Chinese companies sending packages to customers in the US, drawing praise from American manufacturers.
The White House has said that the decision to withdraw was taken after efforts to revise the treaty, which includes 192 nations as signatories, received an international rebuke. Officials have said that they would rather stay in the system but not in its existing format.
The withdrawal process will last at least one year, notes Bloomberg, with postal rates staying fixed for at least the first six months while negotiations are permitted.
“If negotiations are successful, the administration is prepared to rescind the notice of withdrawal and remain in the Universal Postal Union,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders.
The move was lauded by US manufacturers, who call the discounts a $170 million subsidy to Chinese companies paid by the US Postal Service.
“President Trump deserves tremendous credit for the administration’s focus on eliminating the anti-US manufacturer subsidy China receives from the US Postal Service,” said Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers. “This outdated arrangement contributes significantly to the flood of counterfeit goods and dangerous drugs that enter the country from China.”