CPA Says New Postal Vehicle Fleet Should be Fully USA-Made

CPA Says New Postal Vehicle Fleet Should be Fully USA-Made

Washington. The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today reacted to news that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has awarded a 10-year contract to Oshkosh Defense for new mail delivery trucks, including both combustion-engine and battery-electric vehicles (EVs). While USPS says that “final vehicle assembly” will take place in the United States, CPA strongly urges that domestic content be required for all of the associated supply chains. Doing so would mean high-value parts—including engines, motors, drive trains, and batteries—being manufactured specifically in the United States.

“Postal service procurement offers a tremendous opportunity to strengthen America’s automotive and electric vehicle supply chains,” said CPA Chair Zach Mottl. “It would be a tragedy if postal vehicles were primarily made in Mexico or China, even if the assembly takes place here. CPA member companies and other manufacturers should be called upon to provide electric motors, batteries, chassis, and other components.”

Unlike most federal agencies, the USPS is not obligated to follow the provisions of international trade agreements that treat imported goods the same as American-made products. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is therefore free to insist on high levels of American-made content in USPS procurement contracts.

Oshkosh Defense is expected to deliver up to 165,000 U.S.-built vehicles over the next decade, part of a USPS plan to modernize its fleet, reduce costs, and  incorporate advanced technologies.

CPA worries that Oshkosh Defense could buy parts and components from China or other countries. The company’s 2020 Annual Report explains that the company does not have a U.S. buying strategy. Rather it purchases “many costly components such as chassis, engines and transmissions” by utilizing “strategic global purchasing capabilities.”

Said Michael Stumo, CEO of the CPA, “Postmaster DeJoy should absolutely focus on maximizing American-made content, and increase U.S. content over the life of the vehicle contract. The prior vendor made postal vehicles that were manufactured in the United States. Oshkosh may very well meet that standard but we have seen no such assurances so far. Environmental sustainability is important but we should not have to offshore major domestic industries in order to achieve it.”

CPA recently published research that found strict Buy American rules in federal procurement can greatly benefit the U.S. economy. Note: We completely agree that it only makes sense to follow strict Buy American guidelines for the USPS and that the production of these vehicals need to be in the United States. Now is the time to provide valuable jobs for Americans as we rebuild our nations economy.