From 2021, postal tariffs for letters and parcels from abroad will increase, as each country will then be able to set its own prices for distribution. This will have serious consequences for orders placed with cheap Chinese web shops.
Threat from President Trump
This agreement is a direct consequence of the Chinese-American trade war: the President Trump had threatened to leave the United Nations Postal Union if postal rates were not increased. His government denounced the fact that today, importing countries are losing money on the distribution of e-commerce packages from countries such as – and in particular – China.
The current delivery tariffs date back to the 1960s, when it was established that developing countries (of which China was one at the time) were given a discount in order to stimulate exports to other countries. This means that Western countries themselves subsidise the costs of shipments from those countries.
Fewer Chinese items
The United States now want to put an end to this: from June 2020, the United States (as a major importer) will be able to choose its own tariffs. "This is exactly what we wanted and planned for", White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said in the Guardian: "We'll buy less Chinese stuff, buy more from other countries, we will make more in America and the market will be free of distortions."
China will certainly have to pay more to make use of the American market, says Navarro, but consumers will also end up paying more for their parcels to be shipped from abroad. The same is the case for Europe and other countries, confirmed Bishar Hussein, the director-general of the Postal Union.