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PIA Submits Comments to Presidential Postal Reform Commission

Press release from the issuing company

ALEXANDRIA, VA (February 24, 2003) — The Printing Industries of America (PIA) is pleased to submit its views to the Presidential Commission on the United States Postal Service. PIA and its association partner the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation represent more than 13,000 printing and graphic arts companies and their suppliers, many of whom depend on a uniform nationwide mail system to serve their customers. PIA members produce virtually every type of printed product; however, a substantial amount of the printing produced by our members is intended for the U. S. mail. Conversely, other than parcels and handwritten letters, virtually every piece of mail handled by the U. S. mail is a printed product. “The nation’s commercial printing industry had shipments valued at more than $156 billion in 2002 with over one million employees. As such, it is one of the nation’s largest manufacturing businesses. It would be accurate to state that an ineffective or overly expensive nationwide mail delivery system would be devastating to the U. S. printing industry,” Ben Cooper, Executive Vice-President of Public Affairs at PIA explained. The following represents a summary of the issues PIA believes should be addressed by the Commission to improve the U. S. Postal Service: * The concept of Universal Service should be supported; * The Postal Service should focus on the “last mile” concept since it the basis of the positive relationship and success the service has had with the nation’s businesses and households; * The use of the mailbox should continue to be restricted to the U. S. Postal Service; * The rate setting process needs to be changed significantly from a cost of service model to a business model designed to attract new business to the Postal Service; * The Postal Service should be encouraged to seek private sector partners through work sharing, negotiated service agreements, and other mail related services to both attract business and reduce the cost of operations; * The Commission should recommend a strategy to enable the Postal Service to begin the process of closing and consolidating retail and mail processing facilities; * The Postal Service should remain focused on its core mission and resist the temptation to enter new enterprises which are not directly related to delivering the mail; * The Commission should make recommendations about the agreements between the Postal Service and its unions to assure the USPS has the flexibility to enter work share agreements and other programs to improve efficiency and reduce costs; and, * The Postal Service should develop plans to promote the use of printing and mailing and seek to recapture markets lost to alternative technology.