It’s officially the Christmas season! Families are decorating for the Yuletide, the kids are looking forward to the day when they’re out of school until the new year, and Texas businesses are hard at work in the season where many make the majority of their sales. However, for those that use the mail to conduct most of their transactions, U.S.P.S. is not making things easy!
It seems the cost of shipping is always going up. Last January, shipping costs increased as follows: Priority Mail Express increased by 3.9%, Priority Mail express increased by 3.4%, First Class Package Service increased by 4.1%, First Class Mail parcels increased to $2.67 (previously $2.62) for a 1 oz. package, Parcel Select Ground increased by 2.7%, Media Mail increased to $2.63 from $2.61 for a 1 lb. package. And while increases in cost of shipping are nothing new, a part of the cost of doing business, there’s another factor that is making it difficult to compete in a global market, especially for small businesses. According to an article in Forbes, the government in Washington is giving huge shipping subsidies to Chinese companies, while American businesses have to slog on with the standard shipping costs.
“These super low shipping rates are being subsidized by the U.S. Postal Service. Yes, the United States and, in a roundabout way, the U.S. taxpayer is footing the bill so that Chinese merchants can ship their products to the USA for dirt cheap, essentially losing millions to support a dynamic where domestic American businesses are being undercut by foreign merchants who are immune to any and all intellectual property and consumer safety laws.”
As an example of the effect of this policy that dates back to 2011, according to the article, you can ship a one-pound package from Beijing to New York City for $3.66. However, shipping that same package from South Carolina to NYC costs about $6, and from NYC to Beijing costs about $50. You can see how this can quickly add up, giving the already low-priced Chinese goods a distinct advantage over those made in the States.
This is an elementary example of how Washington will not consider the needs of the States over foreign considerations. No doubt our leaders in Washington have reasons to think this is justified, but with rising cost of everything, and in large part due to government policy, that will be of little comfort to the small business owner struggling to keep his business alive. If this is what America First looks like, then maybe we ought to try a little Texas First, set our own standards, and remove Washington from the equation.