Magazine Publishers of America Congratulates Postal Regulatory Commission
(Press Release) New York, NY (September 30, 2010) — Magazine Publishers of America—the trade association for the consumer magazine industry—applauds the decision of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today to reject the rate hikes proposed by the Postal Service.
The proposed rate hikes, which would have taken effect next January, would have raised postage rates eight percent for magazines, almost $200 million in additional postage costs annually. The PRC decision reaffirms the arguments of the Affordable Mail Alliance (AMA) - a coalition of 1200 businesses, of which MPA was a founding member - that the Postal Service must limit rate increases to the rate of inflation, as the law requires.
"The PRC today has helped the magazine industry stay competitive in this difficult business climate and the Postal Service retain volume and revenue. The Commissioners recognized that the Postal Service's proposed rate hike was not only an unlawful attempt to shatter the price cap, but also the wrong way to address the Postal Service's financial troubles," said Nina Link, MPA President and CEO. "We must now look forward to the long-lasting restructuring needed to restore the Postal Service to competitiveness."
Blue ribbon commissions and government auditors have reported for decades that the Postal Service needs to streamline its inefficiently large network of undersized and obsolete mail processing plants. Over this same time period, magazine publishers have questioned out-of-control increases in periodicals costs, despite intensive efforts by publishers to take more of the work burden off the Postal Service. Congress also needs to take a hard look at the Postal Service's current obligations for prefunding its retiree health benefits program, a major cost burden. This prepayment schedule is another contributor to the Postal Service's financial problems.
"The Affordable Mail Alliance represents an unprecedented effort of the mailing community to unite to address this important issue," said Link. "The MPA thanks the other members of the Alliance and our supporters, especially Senator Susan Collins, the key author of the 2006 Postal legislation at issue here and a tireless advocate for the future of the Postal Service."