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US to quit Universal Postal Union; treaty gives China unfair advantage, says White House

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Thursday 18 Oct 2018

US to quit Universal Postal Union; treaty gives China unfair advantage, says White House

(Sharecast News) - US President Donald Trump has fired the latest salvo in his increasingly bitter trade war with China by announcing plans to pull out of the United Nation's Universal Postal Union.
The 144-year-old treaty sets international mailing rates. The system was intended to support poorer nations, which tend to pay less than developed countries. China, now one of the world's largest economies, entered the pact in 1969 as a developing nation.

The White House said that the system, which has 192 member countries, gives China a competitive edge and disadvantages American businesses. It also accused the treaty of fuelling the shipment of illegal drugs and counterfeit goods.

It has therefore given notice it will withdraw from the multilateral agreement, although officials told reporters: "We're looking for a fair system. We do hope that ultimately we achieve a negotiated outcome."

Trump had made a point of targeting China since becoming president, accusing it of unfair trade practices that leave American companies struggling to compete. He has placed tariffs on around $200bn-worth of Chinese goods, equal to around 40% of China's exports to the US. China has retaliated by imposing its own tariffs.

The trade war has weighed heavily on global markets, and is responsible for much of the turbulent conditions plaguing equities this autumn.

The US will quit the UPU in a year's time if a new deal cannot be agreed and will set its own international postal rates. The UPU said it regretted the White House's stance and was seeking further discussions.

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