Dec 4, 2018

Treasury report urges USPS to raise package prices in blow to Amazon

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service should raise prices for shipping nonessential packages, recommends a newly released report from a Treasury Department task force.

Why it matters: President Trump created the commission after criticizing Amazon for allegedly underpaying the USPS for package shipments and referring to the USPS as Amazon's "Delivery Boy." Stocks from Amazon, UPS, USPS and all dropped after the report was released.

The backdrop: Last month, the USPS reported FY18 results with an overall volume decline of 3.2 billion pieces and a net loss of $3.9 billion. Revenue was up $1 billion from last year because of the shipping and packages sector — a 10% increase from last year.

What they're saying
"Today’s report contains achievable recommendations that fulfill the President’s goal of placing the USPS on a path to sustainability, while protecting taxpayers from undue financial burdens and providing them with necessary mail services.”
— Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
“The United States Postal Service as currently structured is financially unsustainable. I appreciate Secretary Mnuchin and the Postal Task Force’s effort to accurately assess the Postal Service’s financial reality and propose viable solutions without relying on a taxpayer bailout.”
— Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

Go deeper: Trump hates Amazon, not Facebook

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Clyburn: Sanders' "socialist" label will be "extra burden" in House races

Clyburn with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Sen. Bernie Sanders' identification as a democratic socialist may be an "extra burden" in down-ballot House races if he were to win the Democratic nomination.

Why it matters: Clyburn's comments echo fears from many establishment Democrats, who worry the House majority they won in 2018 by taking moderate seats carried by President Trump could be at risk with Sanders at the top of the ticket.

O'Brien rejects intelligence report of Russia effort to re-elect Trump

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien. Photo: Chris Usher/CBS via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien repeatedly rejected on ABC's "This Week" an assessment from a congressional briefing led by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to help President Trump get re-elected.

Why it matters: The report put the Trump administration under fresh scrutiny in regard to steps it has been taking to combat the kind of interference that the U.S. encountered in 2016.

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Italy becomes site of largest coronavirus outbreak outside of Asia

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy step up emergency measures in their countries amid rising case numbers on Sunday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,462 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korea increased the infectious disease alert to red, the highest possible, as its case numbers jumped to 602 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures as it confirmed a spike from three to 132 cases in matter of days, making it the largest outbreak outside of Asia.

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