Trump administration to pull US out of United Nations postal treaty

I'm concerned that China's currency actions amount to manipulation Baldwin

Trump pulling U.S. out of international pact on postal rates

"According to the union's rules, members will have a year to renegotiate new terms before the withdrawal becomes permanent". About 60% of packages shipped into the US come from China, the New York Times reports. The White House said in a statement that the U.S. State Department would give notice of its intent to pull out of the postal union Wednesday, but the parties involved would still have a year to negotiate before it's a done deal.

President Donald Trump has previously accused China of keeping its currency weak to make exports more competitive.

The move to withdraw from the UPU, now a part of the United Nations family of organizations, is the latest one by Trump against the established worldwide multilateral system of treaties and agreements the US president blames for undermining American competitiveness.

While the lower rates were meant to foster development in Asia and Africa, Chinese companies now make up about 60 percent of packages shipped into the country, taking advantage of the lower rates to ship clothing, household gadgets and consumer electronics.

The administration officials also said that the treaty is causing the US Postal Service to lose $300 million (€260 million) a year and said people smuggling the narcotic fentanyl use the treaty to cheaply ship the drug from China to the US.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on trade talks with China and USA tensions with Saudi Arabia and the Trump administration's efforts to reduce regulations. These include hacking into USA companies' computers to steal trade secrets and forcing American firms to hand over technology to China in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

The United States has imposed tariffs on about $250 billion in Chinese goods, and Beijing has responded by targeting about $110 billion in USA products.

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It was the largest USA air strike since a November 2017 attack, which killed about 100 al-Shabab fighters. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to reporters.

Labelling China a manipulator would be a fresh sign of confrontation from Washington but any actual repercussions would be gradual. And it could crimp shipments of cheap goods from Chinese manufacturers directly to USA consumers - a practice that many US retailers and small businesses say hurts them.

The "system creates winners and losers", the report's author's concluded, especially China's national postal service and "Chinese online retailers in the lightweight, low-value package segment at the expense of the U.S. Postal Service and American retailers".

Under the current UPU agreement, foreign merchants are able to ship small packages weighing 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) or less at a discounted rate to the US.

Consequently, U.S. consumers often purchase Chinese goods offered with free shipping.

Mnuchin noted further devaluations are likely to exacerbate the United States' $390 billion trade deficit with China.

"Something has to be done", he said.

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