Unions attack free trade through climate

March 3, 2009

Carbon Control News reported this morning that the United Steelworkers union is

is exploring a hybrid policy that would combine a cap-and-trade scheme for utilities and other domestic sectors, while narrowly applying an excise carbon tax on domestic and foreign manufacturers to avoid “leakage” of jobs and GHG emissions to countries with lax environmental policies…

The model envisioned by the USW would apply an excise tax on manufactured products, based on the GHGs emitted during production. In order to spur GHG reductions, the taxes would be levied on GHGs in excess of a predetermined cap that could be lowered periodically to meet the emissions-reduction targets President Obama has set forth; the taxes also could increase over time to provide further incentive for manufacturers to clean up their processes, according to sources. To ensure domestic and foreign manufacturers are treated the same, the tax would be levied on importers of foreign products and rebated on exported products, similar to the value added tax (VAT) applied to an array of products in many countries.

Democrat lawmakers supporting the idea, according to Carbon Control News, include Reps. John Larson (D-CT), Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Pete Stark (D-CA).

Just what we need during the most significant global economic calamity in 75 years — anti-trade policies.

Take action:

Contact your congressional representative as well as Reps. Larson, McDermott and Stark and tell them that global trade is the path to peace and prosperity while junk science-based tariffs can only lead to global economic stagnation and international ill-will.

One Response to “Unions attack free trade through climate”

  1. justbeau Says:

    Its logical and inevitable where this has to head.

    If CO2 emissions from select industries are taxed in a big way, then 1) they must pass this added cost to the consumer; and 2) an industry must be protected with import tariffs, if it has foreign competitors. (No wonder Senator Gregg had to decline the Commerce job.)

    US steel production, for instance, would need tariff protection to continue. Since unions are part of the cap and trade coalition, its cap and trade and tariff. The emissions trading scheme raises money to fund public services, but there is no free lunch, since higher prices for the public.

    The justification is this will save the Earth by stopping catastrophic Global Warming caused only by US emissions of CO2, from targeted industries.

    Thanks Al. The Nobel folks need to start awarding a “piece of the action” prize.


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