WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. Postal Service to undergo an audit Thursday evening, a move that comes after presidents repeated claims that Amazon is fleecing the USPS through alleged unfair business practices.
“The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout,” reads the executive order Trump issued shortly before 9 p.m.
While not explicitly mentioned in the order, the president has hammered e-commerce giant Amazon in recent weeks and alleged that the company and its CEO Jeff Bezos are driving the USPS into the ground.
“I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy,” Trump wrote on Twitter on April 3. “Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne by the American Taxpayer.”
Trump has openly wondered whether the office, whose agreement with Amazon remains private since it is considered proprietary information, has a “clue” about the situation.
Claims that Amazon is taking advantage of the Postal Service have not passed muster with fact checkers. A Politifact analysis found that despite a notable drop in mail, the delivery of packages has been a boon for the struggling agency. Trump is right that the USPS has had a recent run in the red ink, but this is largely attributed to a 2006 law mandating that the Postal Service pre-fund retiree health benefits.
According to the executive order, a task force comprise of top officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who would chair the group, will lead the investigation into the USPSs finances and will be required to issue recommendations and a final report no later than early August.