President Trump’s repeated demands that the U.S. Postal Service raise the rates it charges Amazon sent the leaders of the country’s mail system scrambling earlier this year, fearful that a substantial price increase could end up costing its already beleaguered budget $1.3 billion in profits.
Such an increase threatened to force the USPS to cut its own staff, while resulting in higher costs for consumers and companies, including pharmacies and other entities that send drugs to seniors by mail. The service raised those potentially crippling complications in an undated memo obtained by The Washington Post from American Oversight, a watchdog group that requested the records under federal open-records law.
The USPS memo, unreleased until this week, reflects the political bind facing the agency this spring as it sought to balance Trump’s political broadsides with its own urgent need to shore up its balance sheet. The Postal Service has had to borrow from the federal government to sustain operations in the face of a $160.9 billion debt, opening the door for the Trump administration to try to demand specific structural changes under its new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy.