(a) It is the policy of the United States—
(1) to promote and encourage communications between peoples by efficient operation of international postal services and other international delivery services for cultural, social, and economic purposes;
(2) to promote and encourage unrestricted and undistorted competition in the provision of international postal services and other international delivery services, except where provision of such services by private companies may be prohibited by law of the United States;
(3) to promote and encourage a clear distinction between governmental and operational responsibilities with respect to the provision of international postal services and other international delivery services by the Government of the United States and by intergovernmental organizations of which the United States is a member; and
(4) to participate in multilateral and bilateral agreements with other countries to accomplish these objectives.
(b)(1) The Secretary of State shall be responsible for formulation, coordination, and oversight of foreign policy related to international postal services and other international delivery services and shall have the power to conclude postal treaties, conventions, and amendments related to international postal services and other international delivery services, except that the Secretary may not conclude any treaty, convention, or other international agreement (including those regulating international postal services) if such treaty, convention, or agreement would, with respect to any competitive product, grant an undue or unreasonable preference to the Postal Service, a private provider of international postal or delivery services, or any other person.
(2) In carrying out the responsibilities specified in paragraph (1), the Secretary of State shall exercise primary authority for the conduct of foreign policy with respect to international postal services and international delivery services, including the determination of United States positions and the conduct of United States participation in negotiations with foreign governments and international bodies. In exercising this authority, the Secretary—
(A) shall coordinate with other agencies as appropriate, and in particular, shall give full consideration to the authority vested by law or Executive order in the Postal Regulatory Commission, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Transportation, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative in this area;
(B) shall maintain continuing liaison with other executive branch agencies concerned with postal and delivery services;
(C) shall maintain continuing liaison with the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Government Reform of the House of Representatives;
(D) shall maintain appropriate liaison with both representatives of the Postal Service and representatives of users and private providers of international postal services and other international delivery services to keep informed of their interests and problems, and to provide such assistance as may be needed to ensure that matters of concern are promptly considered by the Department of State or (if applicable, and to the extent practicable) other executive branch agencies; and
(E) shall assist in arranging meetings of such public sector advisory groups as may be established to advise the Department of State and other executive branch agencies in connection with international postal services and international delivery services.
(3) The Secretary of State shall establish an advisory committee (within the meaning of the Federal Advisory Committee Act) to perform such functions as the Secretary considers appropriate in connection with carrying out subparagraphs (A) through (D) of paragraph (2).
(c)(1) Before concluding any treaty, convention, or amendment that establishes a rate or classification for a product subject to subchapter I of chapter 36, the Secretary of State shall request the Postal Regulatory Commission to submit its views on whether such rate or classification is consistent with the standards and criteria established by the Commission under section 3622.
(2) The Secretary shall ensure that each treaty, convention, or amendment concluded under subsection (b) is consistent with the views submitted by the Commission pursuant to paragraph (1), except if, or to the extent, the Secretary determines, in writing, that it is not in the foreign policy or national security interest of the United States to ensure consistency with the Commission's views. Such written determination shall be provided to the Commission together with a full explanation of the reasons thereof, provided that the Secretary may designate which portions of the determination or explanation shall be kept confidential for reasons of foreign policy or national security.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be considered to prevent the Postal Service from entering into such commercial or operational contracts related to providing international postal services and other international delivery services as it deems appropriate, except that—
(1) any such contract made with an agency of a foreign government (whether under authority of this subsection or otherwise) shall be solely contractual in nature and may not purport to be international law; and
(2) a copy of each such contract between the Postal Service and an agency of a foreign government shall be transmitted to the Secretary of State and the Postal Regulatory Commission not later than the effective date of such contract.
(e)(1) In this subsection, the term "private company" means a private company substantially owned or controlled by persons who are citizens of the United States.
(2) With respect to shipments of international mail that are competitive products within the meaning of section 3631 that are exported or imported by the Postal Service, the Customs Service and other appropriate Federal agencies shall apply the customs laws of the United States and all other laws relating to the importation or exportation of such shipments in the same manner to both shipments by the Postal Service and similar shipments by private companies.
(3) In exercising the authority under subsection (b) to conclude new postal treaties and conventions related to international postal services and to renegotiate such treaties and conventions, the Secretary of State shall, to the maximum extent practicable, take such measures as are within the Secretary's control to encourage the governments of other countries to make available to the Postal Service and private companies a range of nondiscriminatory customs procedures that will fully meet the needs of all types of American shippers. The Secretary of State shall consult with the United States Trade Representative and the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in carrying out this paragraph.
(4) The provisions of this subsection shall take effect 6 months after the date of enactment of this subsection or such earlier date as the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security may determine in writing.
(Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 724; Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(h) [title VI, §633(a)], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–480, 2681–523; Pub. L. 109–435, title IV, §405(a), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3229; Pub. L. 114–125, title VIII, §802(d)(2), Feb. 24, 2016, 130 Stat. 210.)
The Federal Advisory Committee Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(3), is Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 770, as amended, which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
The date of enactment of this subsection, referred to in subsec. (e)(4), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 109–435, which was approved Dec. 20, 2006.
2006—Pub. L. 109–435 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section consisted of subsecs. (a) to (d) relating to responsibilities of the Secretary of State and the Postal Service for international postal arrangements.
1998—Pub. L. 105–277 substituted "International Postal Arrangements" for "International postal arrangements" in section catchline and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows:
"(a) The Postal Service, with the consent of the President, may negotiate and conclude postal treaties or conventions, and may establish the rates of postage or other charges on mail matter conveyed between the United States and other countries. The decisions of the Postal Service construing or interpreting the provisions of any treaty or convention which has been or may be negotiated and concluded shall, if approved by the President, be conclusive upon all officers of the Government of the United States.
"(b) The Postal Service shall transmit a copy of each postal convention concluded with other governments to the Secretary of State, who shall furnish a copy of the same to the Public Printer for publication."
"Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection" substituted for "Commissioner of Customs" in subsec. (e)(3) on authority of section 802(d)(2) of Pub. L. 114–125, set out as a note under section 211 of Title 6, Domestic Security.
Pub. L. 109–435, title IV, §405(b), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3232, provided that: "Notwithstanding any provision of the amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section], the authority of the United States Postal Service to establish the rates of postage or other charges on mail matter conveyed between the United States and other countries shall remain available to the Postal Service until—
"(1) with respect to market-dominant products, the date as of which the regulations promulgated under section 3622 of title 39, United States Code (as amended by section 201(a)) take effect; and
"(2) with respect to competitive products, the date as of which the regulations promulgated under section 3633 of title 39, United States Code (as amended by section 202) take effect."
Section effective July 1, 1971, pursuant to Resolution No. 71–9 of the Board of Governors. See section 15(a) of Pub. L. 91–375, set out as a note preceding section 101 of this title.
Pub. L. 105–277, §101(h) [title VI, §633(d)], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–480, 2681–524, provided that: "In fiscal year 1999 and each fiscal year hereafter, the Postal Service shall allocate to the Department of State from any funds available to the Postal Service such sums as may be reasonable, documented and auditable for the Department of State to carry out the activities of Section 407 of title 39 of the United States Code."