President George W. Bush recently established the Commission on the United States Postal Service, whose final report in August 2003 may lay the groundwork for the first major reform of the U.S. Postal Service in thirty years. Mirroring the administration’s initiative, AEI is sponsoring its own Postal Reform Initiative--a series of conferences and publications to assess the mission and operations of the U.S. Postal Service, propose a vision of a modern postal industry, and suggest how the United States could arrive at this destination. In order to solve the problems that have bedeviled the U.S. postal industry, the AEI project examines the potential of modern communications technology and a more open and competitive market environment and reviews the experiences of other countries that have enacted postal reform in recent years.
This second session of the AEI Postal Service Initiative will focus on the mission of the U.S. Postal Service, how technology has affected this mission, and the meaning of universal service. Future conferences will address competition issues caused by postal reform and, upon its release, the implications of the commission’s proposal.