If the United States withdraws from the UPU in October like President Trump has threatened, one group will be impacted more than most: US military troops. Troops depend on the Postal Service and the UPU to receive mail in a timely fashion and at affordable rates. If the United States withdraws from the UPU, the global mailing system would experience significant inefficiencies. As a result, American troops stationed abroad may not receive their holiday mail in time, and morale would suffer across the board for our soldiers serving our country. It goes without saying, but this would be a very bad thing if it happens.
What is the Universal Postal Union (or UPU)?
The Universal Postal Union is the governing board that regulates the cost of global shipping and mailing. The UPU’s existence is the reason you can send letters from Los Angeles to the UK without paying huge fees. So forth and so on.
Why the United States May Withdraw from the UPU
President Trump is threatening to pull the United States from the UPU because other countries enjoy unfair discounts on their exported goods, and the United States ends up subsidizing these discounts. China is one of those countries, hence all the fuss about the US/China trade war.
In the 1960’s, the UPU granted shipping discounts to a list of developing countries to help foster the global economy. China was one of those countries, and despite its current position as an emerging global power, China still receives those same discounts. So, in essence, the US is basically paying for China’s cheap overseas shipping, specifically on packages 4.4 pounds or lighter.
The Trump administration alleges that China’s unfairly discounted rates cost the United States roughly $300 million each year. So, as part of President Trump’s trade war strategy, his solution is to withdraw the United States from the UPU altogether.
The Importance of Military Mail and Morale
The importance of the troops receiving holiday mail in time cannot be stressed enough. Members of the United States military are away from their families for large chunks of time, and the holiday season can get particularly trying. One of the biggest things that connects our troops to home is the ability to receive holiday mail in time. If that doesn’t happen, spirits would undoubtedly fall. There is obviously no way to measure morale of troops, so some might not deem this as a pressing issue. However, we believe it is. This is a human issue, and not really a business issue, sure…however, our humanity is what matters the most—especially during the holidays.