Alliance Statement on the Postal Regulatory Commission 8/12/20

Washington, D.C. – August 12, 2020

Statement on the Postal Regulatory Commission

On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, we congratulate the Postal Regulatory Commission.  The agency is critically important to all nonprofit mailers, with its stated mission: “The Postal Regulatory Commission is an independent Federal agency that provides transparency and accountability of the U. S. Postal Service’s operations.”  Alliance President Jim Asselmeyer of Guideposts said, “We mailers appreciate the difficult and indispensable job the PRC has.  We thank Robert Taub and his team for their dedication to their very important mission.”

The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers for 40 years has worked to help nonprofits achieve their vital missions with the U.S. Mail.  To us, the most important role of the PRC is included in Chairman Robert Taub’s statement today: “The law provides the Postal Service a statutory monopoly over mailboxes and the delivery of letters. The public interest role of a regulator in this case is clear: a need to protect the captive customers and ensure fair competition.”

Our members and all nonprofits are able to compete and negotiate all supplier goods and services except one: the delivery of hard-copy to America’s households and businesses.  For this service, we must accept one legal supplier–the USPS–along with all of its non-negotiable service standards, rules, and prices.  Many nonprofits raise most or all of their funding, establish and maintain memberships, and distribute their publications through the sole-source monopoly supplier, the USPS.  Nonprofits rely on the United States Postal Service for our very existence and the accomplishment of our missions.

The most important legal protection for captive customers of the USPS is this requirement in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act: “The system for regulating rates and classes for market-dominant products shall include an annual limitation on the percentage changes in rates to be set by the Postal Regulatory Commission that will be equal to the change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers unadjusted for seasonal variation over the most recent available 12-month period preceding the date the Postal Service files notice of its intention to increase rates.”

We urge the PRC to leave the CPI price cap intact, the main protection we captive customers have in our use of the U.S. Mail to achieve our vital missions.

The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers has an independent coalition of nonprofits working to ensure that we can continue to use reliable, affordable U.S. Mail to help achieve our vital missions.  A 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization since 1980.