Industry warns looming ôgreen trade warö
U.S. trade groups warned Senate lawmakers on Wednesday to refrain from including certain trade and competitiveness provisions in its version of climate-change legislation.
'We believe any successful legislation that aims to restrain greenhouse gas emissions must abide by U.S. international trade obligations and should encourage action by other major emitting countries,' said the Emergency Committee for American Trade, National Foreign Trade Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. Council for International Business, in a letter to the Senate Democratic and Republican leadership.
The groups cited provisions contained in the House's 2009 American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), which include creating the international reserve allowance program and permitting tariffs or 'border measures' on carbon-intensive imports.
The groups said the provisions are 'highly inflexible, and likely to conflict with obligations the United States has undertaken in international trade agreements. In fact, these provisions are already stirring consternation among some of our key trading partners and could trigger a 'green trade war.''
The groups urged the U.S. government to instead seek an international consensus not only on an agreement at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, but also on the use of trade-related measures in domestic climate change legislation. 'If such measures are pursued as a last resort, it is imperative that the president is given wide discretion to decide whether or not to impose them,' they added. ' Chris Gillis