If you’re like Doomberg, you spend a lot of time on eBay buying small baubles from China for your smartphone. After all, part of the fun of having a brand new phone is being able to accessorize it. You need a case, screen protector, maybe a spare battery, some cables, and so forth. And, of course, you go to eBay and find a seller that will sell these items for just a couple bucks with free delivery from China.
It would seem that it’s unlikely that you can transport the item to a boat or airplane, get it to the United States, give it to the USPS, and have them deliver it to you for “free.” So what’s going on?
Back in the 1800s, sending a letter from one country to another country was hard. There were lots of individual treaties and no standardization allowing mail to flow seamlessly as it does today. There also was a problem that emerging countries had very little means to actually mail something to another country.
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) was formed in 1874 to address these issues and establish rates between countries. At the time, it was an American initiative which has since become a United Nations agency.
Also, at the time, China was a developing nation and extremely low rates were established to encourage trade. Here we are today where it costs about five times less to mail something from China to the United States than to send the same package to your next door neighbor.
Here’s an example. A New Jersey company makes a nifty mug they call the Mighty-Mug. The mug is produced in Asia, imported into the United States and sold for $20 + shipping which will be something in the $7-$10 range depending on how far it travels. You can, however, buy a high-quality knock-off of the mug for $5.69 with free shipping from China. The creator of the Mighty-Mug said:
Mighty Mug will pay the Postal Service up to $18 to deliver a 4.4-pound package in the United States. A Chinese company can get the USPS to deliver that same package [from China] for a maximum of $3.70.
Since the UPU really doesn’t answer to anyone, President Trump simply withdrew from the organization with the result that Doomberg will now have to get his accessories from Wal-Mart.
This would all seem to be in the no brainer category and will have only positive effects on the United States and certainly falls under the category of “leveling the playing field.”
So let’s see what the loonie left has to say:
He’s scum. Trump is pulling the US out of an obscure 144-year-old treaty to take a shot at China in the trade war. Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the Universal Postal Union, a 192-country treaty that helps to set international postage rates. pic.twitter.com/GWjCcHCdjC
— I AM _________ (@VJShordee444) October 19, 2018
Well, OK. Just your basic leftist loonie. Let’s see what else we can find.
So USA citizens will now spend more. Another stealthy GOP tax (like tariffs) on USA resident Citizens! Good old GOP “spend first, stealthy tax later” policy. Then cut social benefits to fill hole in budget, Nat Debt, created by earlier tax cuts for wealthiest 1%!
— Donald B Kelman (@DonaldKelman) October 18, 2018
Oh, well. If you want to get your cheap Chinese stuff shipped for cheap on eBay, you have until January 2020.
And, as always, our President gives himself two ways to win and no way to lose:
During this period [until January 2020], the Department of State will seek to negotiate bilateral and multilateral agreements that resolve the problems discussed in the Presidential Memorandum. If negotiations are successful, the Administration is prepared to rescind the notice of withdrawal and remain in the UPU.
The man is a master.
(Doomberg’s note: I don’t actually buy smartphone accessories.)