The European Union is not the only international coalition set to lose a key member. The Universal Postal Union (UPU) may be about to lose one of its biggest players with the United States’ planned withdrawal. It may just be a bluff in the escalating trade dispute between the US and China, but it plunges the global mailing community into an environment as uncertain as any other currently sweeping the globe.
What’s the situation? Your 1-minute catch-up
Some quick background on the situations, which both have China-US relations at their heart. The trade war between the two superpowers is well documented, with up to 25% tariffs charged on imported goods between nations as a result. However, the UPU situation has the potential to be just as destabilising, especially to global mail.
The Universal Postal Union is a specialised UN agency established in 1874 which coordinates postal policies between 192 member nations, but a 1969 UPU agreement is behind the current deadlock. To promote economic development in emerging markets the agreement labelled countries as either a developed ‘target’ nation or developing ‘transition’ nation. In 1969 China was placed in the ‘transition’ category, allowing it to gain access to lower rates and tariffs for international mailing. 50 years on and China is an economic powerhouse. Yet booming economies such as China and Brazil remain ‘transition’ nations, according to the agreement, and are therefore still paying the lower rates put in place to support developing countries. The US has threatened to withdraw from the UPU in response to this uneven playing field.
The US is currently renegotiating with the UPU but, as we’ve learned from UK politics, international re-negotiations are usually lengthy and rarely simple! Whether the United States’ withdrawal plans are a bargaining chip or genuine position, the state of affairs is creating more uncertainty in an uncertain world.
How can you make sure your international mail isn’t affected?
Search for Solutions
One option may be to consider sending from the UK or elsewhere in Citipost Mail’s Worldwide delivery network, to avoid any potential interruption in what is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for the industry.
There are many possible long and short term solutions but as your circumstances are unique, speak to our team for specific advice on your situation on 0203 2600 240.
Develop a Plan B
Take steps that you can be ready to mobilise if necessary, such as assessing if a changing landscape might force you to adapt your pricing structure, or even the more drastic step of investigating whether moving mailing to strategically placed neighbours is a genuine possibility for your organisation.
Trust the Experts
At Citipost Mail, our Global team are experts in international mail and have the experience necessary to help your business navigate the best path forward during geopolitical uncertainties. Whether you’re tapping into our network, our services or our consultancy, we have the experience to keep your mail moving anywhere in the world, ensuring it arrives on time and for the right price.
For more information visit Citipost Global or call us on 0203 2600 240