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Congress Keeps an Eye on Chinese Shipping Rates

Congress let the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) know that it’s keeping an eye on the issue of “Fair Competition in International Shipping.” The Subcommittee on Government Operations sent a letter to the PRC chairperson last week requesting that it take into account the concerns expressed at the hearing it held in June of 2015 when providing its views on Terminal Dues.

At that hearing last year, Amazon executive Paul Misener pointed out that Chinese firms can ship low-weight orders to American buyers at significantly cheaper rates than are available to domestic sellers.

UPU Terminal Dues are at the heart of the disparity in shipping costs, and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) is meeting in Istanbul this month to set the rates for the years 2018 – 2021. The State Department represents the United States at the meeting, and the PRC must submit its views on UPU Terminal Dues to State.

House Subcommittee members including Jason Chaffetz (Chairman) and Elijah E. Cummings (Ranking Member) signed the Aug. 31st letter to the PRC requesting that it provide the Commission’s “views letter” to them when it is transmitted to the Dept. of State “to assist the Committee in its continued oversight of the UPU terminal dues system.”

The PRC was hoping to buy more time, as it looked as if the UPU meeting might be delayed due to security concerns, but on August 29th, the UPU announced it would proceed with its plans to hold the UPU Congress in Turkey beginning on September 20th.

EcommerceBytes will continue to cover the issue.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.