Online Retailers Spend Millions on Ads Backing Postal Service Bailout

A coalition of online retailers backed by Amazon began a seven-figure advertising blitz on Wednesday opposing President Trump’s demand that the beleaguered United States Postal Service ratchet up its package delivery rates to avoid bankruptcy amid the coronavirus crisis, its top lobbyist said.

The coalition intends to spend more than $2 million on the campaign in an attempt to whip up Republican opposition to Mr. Trump’s idea, pressing lawmakers instead to support a multibillion-dollar rescue package proposed by Democrats that would help the Postal Service survive the sharp drop in revenue and mail volume caused by the pandemic.

The ads began running nationally Wednesday night on Fox News’s “Hannity” — one of Mr. Trump’s favorite programs — and will be featured on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on Thursday. They do not mention the president, but label his proposal to jack up delivery prices by 400 percent “a massive package tax” on small businesses and Americans who rely on the mail for prescription drugs and other goods.

Amazon, CVS and others involved in the campaign rely on the Postal Service for delivery of millions of packages a year and could see significant business disruptions if the agency had to sharply increase rates or went bankrupt.

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