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National Debt

President Wrong on Climate Change Tariffs

  • July 02, 2009

    The Climate Change Bill that recently passed the House by a narrow margin is in danger of being defanged by the President and his opposition to trade tariffs against countries not also reducing global warming pollution.

    By the year 2020, the bill, as passed by the House, would impose trade tariffs on any country that does not have in place a system for reducing or limiting the amount of pollution it produces, as would be mandated in the U.S. The president has voiced opposition to these tariffs and called them “protectionist”, which is wholly incorrect at best.

    By enforcing pollution-limiting standards, which many would agree is a good thing, you are in return making it more costly for certain businesses to operate since they have been doing so with fewer restrictions on the amount of pollutants they release. Better systems to reduce or eliminate these waste products are often more expensive than what is currently in place, which raise expenses, which are then passed on to customers.

    Making all U.S. companies abide by stricter (and costlier) emission control standards (ECS) while letting foreign countries import products using the higher polluting (and cheaper) ECS is unfair to domestic companies as from the start, their products are more expensive and in turn less likely to be purchased, especially if the economy continues to be stagnant.

    These tariffs level the playing field of global commerce by ensuring that all companies abide by the same rules for production and that no country has an unfair advantage over another due to lax environmental standards; it is unreasonable to punish our domestic businesses for abiding by the law.

    As the vote in House was so close, it stands to reason that the tariffs were included in the final language in order to assure that it would pass the House and move to the Senate. While it is questionable as to whether the tariff clause will appear in the Senate version of the bill, the likelihood that different versions of the bill could be reconciled in committee is slim, however not completely improbable.

    CapitolWatch urges its members and readers to contact their Senator to demand that this vital language be included in any Climate Change Bill that is read for a vote as it unfairly penalizes U.S. businesses and workers for both following the law and reducing pollution.


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