WASHINGTON - The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman today issued the following statement on the United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors' directive for a proposed 5.9 percent across the board postal rate increase for 2014.
"Today's announcement of a 5.9 percent postal rate increase is more than troubling. The critical problems of overcapacity and falling demand for mail cannot be solved by raising prices."
"AF&PA believes the USPS is relying on an outdated and inelastic pricing model to justify this rate increase. Postal rate increases above inflation will drive customers away and further accelerate the decline in mail volume.
"Approximately one-third, or $6 billion of printing and writing paper produced in the U.S. is delivered through the mail system. Today's decision is not the answer. An exigent rate increase would negatively affect consumers, as well as threaten the future reliance on mail as a competitive option for paper-based communication and commerce.
"AF&PA urges Congress to adopt postal reforms that ensure the fiscal viability of the USPS by reducing operations and labor costs, eliminate unreasonable financial obligations while ensuring that mail is a cost competitive option for business communications. Current law provisions limiting rate increases to inflation are an important component of the law and should be retained."