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MPA Urges Postmaster and Congress to Review Alternatives to USPS Rate Increases

Press release from the issuing company

(Washington, DC July 18, 2001) - In conjunction with its annual summer board meeting, members of Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) met with U.S. Postmaster General John "Jack" Potter and Congressional leaders regarding issues facing the United States Postal Service (USPS), including future rate hikes. The magazine industry strongly believes that there should be no new rate increase until 2003, at the earliest. Members of the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) also attended the day's events. "As we reviewed the many important issues facing our industry during our meeting, none ranked higher than the possibility of yet another postal rate increase. The modified rate increase imposed in July already cost the American people an additional $1 billion dollars; talk of any additional rate increases should be off limits," said Nina Link, President and CEO of the MPA. "Instead, the Postal Service should operate more like a business and implement long overdue cost-saving measures before considering any future rate increases." Faced with a rising deficit, Potter agreed on the necessity to consider some serious changes within the agency stating that, "The only way we can succeed will be to work together with various industries to meet their growing demands on the Postal Service, while focusing on an efficient, reliable and affordable Postal Service." "Magazine publishers commend the new Postmaster General for his fresh perspectives and willingness to work with our industry to reverse the current downward trend in our Postal Service. No one is more committed to ensuring the future success of the USPS than magazine publishers and we look forward to embarking on a positive and productive relationship with Mr. Potter as he pursues an affordable and dependable postal system able to provide service far into the future," said Link. Added Link: "The Postal Service's financial problems won't be fixed by simply seeking rate increase after rate increase. It's clear that comprehensive, long-term reform of the postal system is necessary." The group of bipartisan House and Senate leaders who met with the MPA Board included Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-SD), Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). All agreed on the need to stem the tide of rising postal rates and pursue meaningful postal reform. Additional topics of discussion among this group included issues ranging from advertising freedom and the First Amendment to privacy, copyright, and tax. The daylong legislative event ended with a reception on Capitol Hill, hosted by the MPA Board, which was attended by more than 80 Members of Congress and their staffs.