President Donald Trump plans to withdraw the US from a 192-nation treaty that gives Chinese companies discounted shipping rates for small packages sent
to American consumers, another escalation of his economic confrontation of Beijing.
US officials said the administration sought to revise the treaty in September and was rebuffed by other nations, prompting the decision to withdraw. The State Department will deliver a notice to the Universal Postal Union in Switzerland on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
Under the union’s framework it takes a year for a country to withdraw, during which rates can be renegotiated. The officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, said postal rates wouldn’t change for at least six months, and that the US. would prefer to stay inside the union’s system.
The president wants to adopt “self-declared rates” as soon as practical, and no later than January 1, 2020, Sanders said. “If negotiations are successful, the administration is prepared to rescind the notice of withdrawal and remain in the UPU,” she said. US manufacturers applauded the move. “President Trump deserves tremendous credit for the administration’s focus on eliminating the anti-US manufacturer subsidy China receives from the US Postal Service,” Jay Timmons, the president of the National Association of Manufacturers, said.