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MPA Outraged with Postal Service, Demands -Rate Hike Time Out-

Press release from the issuing company

Washington, DC, February 28, 2001 Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) today expressed outrage and disbelief over reports that the Postal Service will request another postal rate increase for all classes of mail this summer averaging 15-20% and even higher for magazines. "The Postal Service's new plan to impose a whopping rate increase is simply unbelievable. It would follow on the heels of a 9.9% rate increase for periodicals (more than double the average increase) that took effect only a few short weeks ago," said Nina Link, President and CEO of MPA. "The impact of such an increase will be felt by tens of millions of households across America who every day receive magazines, parcels, letters and every other kind of mail." MPA also expressed serious concern about the future of the U.S. postal system. "The country needs an affordable, dependable postal system providing universal service far into the future," explained Link. "We want to keep the mailbags full. Continuously increasing rates is precisely the wrong approach. A private sector business concerned about its future would cut costs and rationalize operations before raising prices. The Postal Service should do the same." "The long-term viability of the postal system depends on the ability of the Postal Service to contain costs and operate with greater efficiency and productivity. Today, we are calling on the Postal Service to freeze hiring and take other actions rather than strap a huge postal rate hike on the backs of consumers," said Link. "Other actions should include leveraging existing assets, eliminating unneeded capacity, and using existing borrowing authority to smooth out annual fluctuations. Passing along increasing costs by raising prices should be last on the list of alternatives explored by the postal management. These actions would be a sensible alternative to raising rates at this time while enabling the Congress, the new Administration, the USPS Board of Governors, and the incoming Postmaster General to fully review the future of the Postal Service."