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DMA: Congress Needs To Act Now On Postal Reform
NEW YORK, April 5, 2002 – The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today called on Congress again to take up postal reform legislation as soon as possible. The largest trade association of direct and interactive marketers was also encouraged by the short-term cost-cutting measures enumerated by the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Transformation Plan.
"We call on Congress to expeditiously create the legislative environment needed for the Postal Service to realize the long-term plans set out in its Transformation Plan," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA.
Many elements of the proposed plan, such as labor rules, facility consolidation, delivery frequency, expansion into new markets and the development of a new, more business-like corporate structure, require substantial involvement by Congress.
"There are nine million jobs at stake throughout the country and viability of thousands of private-sector companies hang in the balance. Congress must act now to enact meaningful postal reform legislation that will allow the Postal Service the flexibility to compete in today’s changing marketplace, which is increasingly driven by electronic communications and private carrier delivery," said Wientzen.
"We are concerned that many in Congress may view the Transformation Plan as a cure for what ails the Postal Service. The reality is that the Plan, while ambitious, can only work on the margins of existing law without Congress’ help. The Congress, not just the Plan, must help right the sinking ship that is the Postal Service."
"We continue to be encouraged by the resolve of the Postal Service to take the necessary steps toward cost containment in the near term and we pledge our support for its efforts," said Wientzen.
The DMA was pleased with the USPS’ commitment to hold off on new rate increases until 2004. The nation’s consumers will benefit from lower prices of goods sold through the mail and the Postal Service will be able to keep prices steady for its customers – potentially stanching the exodus of customers to lower priced alternatives.
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 4,700 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States exceeded $1.86 trillion in 2001, including $118 billion in catalog sales and $30 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA's Web site iswww.the-dma.org, and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.