May 7, 2003

U.S. Consumer Postal Council Established

The Consumer Postal Council is an association of users of postal services who share the following objectives: (a) eliminating the government monopoly for postal services, (b) ensuring that while the government monopoly exists for postal mail services, the U.S. and other postal services do not abuse their monopoly by overcharging monopoly mail users, and (c) seeking a delivery marketplace that is free of the distortions of government monopolies and other government privileges.

The focus of the Council is both domestic and international. While advancing consumer and business viewpoints in public discourse on American postal issues, the Council is also affiliated with the Free and Fair Postal Initiative (FFPI), which was founded three years ago by Belgian Senator Philippe Bodson to advance similar objectives in the European Union. Through its FFPI affiliation, the Council's pro-consumer, pro-business voice will be heard at the World Trade Organization to expand competitive choices by eliminating preferential treatment afforded to government posts in international commerce.

The Consumer Postal Council was founded in May 2003 by Jim Courter, a former Congressman and Chairman of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission. Courter is currently CEO of International Discount Telecommunications, and Chairman of the Board of the Lexington Institute.

"It is important to have a well-informed and open debate about the future of postal services in the U.S. and the world," Courter said. "The Consumer Postal Council aims at being the voice of those users, consumers and others who believe that without a final date for liberalizing the USPS monopoly, there will be no improvement of postal services in terms of quality, choice and price. We therefore invite all those who share our views to join the Council in order to counter-balance the influence of the pro-monopoly groups".

Courter said the Council would also seek to

  • Bring sensible reform to U.S. Postal Service business practices, including greater transparency, improved productivity and reasonable measurement and control of costs

  • Where the Postal Service does compete in the commercial marketplace, make sure that it does so fairly and on a level playing field

  • Promote competition within the mail delivery system wherever possible.

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