UPDATE 1-Retailers, newspapers, printing firms oppose U.S. postal rate hikes

Market trading boards are seen at the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney, Friday, February 9, 2018. ( AAP Image/Ben Rushton) NO ARCHIVING

(Adds no immediate USPS comment, more details, file photos)

WASHINGTON, June 4 (Reuters) – A coalition of retailers, newspapers, printers, greeting card companies and others oppose the U.S. Postal Service plan to hike postage prices for most mail by 7% and called on Congress to direct a new review before the hikes take effect.

The group includes the National Retail Federation, Amazon.com Inc, eBay, the National Newspaper Association, Envelope Manufacturers Association, Greeting Card Association and the American Forest & Paper Association.

The price increases to be implemented on August 29, “will impose new and substantial costs to the detriment of the American public and businesses, especially small businesses, nonprofits and charities, consumers generally… and, of course, the millions of jobs postal-reliant businesses support,” the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service said in a letter Friday. USPS said last week the price hikes are needed because over the past 10 years, mail volume has declined by 46 billion pieces, or 28%, and is continuing to decline, while single piece first-class mail — including letters bearing postage stamps — has declined 47%.

USPS says it will still have some of the lowest letter-mail postage rates in the industrialized world. USPS did not immediately comment Friday.

USPS has proposed a plan to cut $160 billion in forecasted red ink over the next decade. The plan would hike the cost of a stamp for first-class mail 3 cents to 58 cents.

The group noted USPS wants to generate an additional $35-to-$52 billion from mail over 10 years.

“Increases of this magnitude are fundamentally unaffordable. Businesses reliant on USPS jointly generate $1.6 trillion in commerce and employ more than 7 million Americans…. Small businesses and others will cut back on mail, with some not able to survive, and larger businesses will simply move more paper communications online.”

Other members include the News Media Association, Pitney Bowes, Quad Graphics, R.R. Donnelly, Major Mailers Association and Bank of America.

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