We have already established that China is untrustworthy and corrupt. But the story gets a lot worse, and it goes back years.
In 1874, the Treaty of Bern was signed, establishing the Universal Postal Union, which served to set international carrier rates for mail and shipping. Because China was considered a “developing country,” then, and explicable still is today, it got a sweetheart deal on shipping to the United States. Although less of a problem intially, the growth of China’s exports resulted in a system where the USPS was paying between $300-500 million annually subsidizing foreign imports.
The bizarre impact of the old policy meant that a New Jersey-based company like Mighty Mugs had to spend $6.30 to deliver a single mug, while a counterfeit version could be sent from China for only $1.40. According to Mighty Mugs owner Jayme Smaldone, it gets worse with heavier packages:
“We pay up to $17.61 to mail a four-pound package, but a shipper in China pays $3.67.”
It should come as no surprise that Chinese knockoff sellers can easily undercut American products by offering significantly lower prices.
Thankfully, things are changing. Under a new agreement that goes into effect in July 2020, the United States will be permitted to self-declare shipping rates, hopefully leveling the playing field for struggling small businesses within its borders. As Pete Navarro said:
“China is certainly going to pay more for the privilege of shipping to our market.”
And it only look over 100 years.
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