Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"French to revive Sarkozy's EU carbon tariff idea"

Combined with Hollande's push for a financial transaction tax and the French should be able to socialize Europe's profligacy to the rest of the world.
Here in the U.S. we do it the old fashioned way, reserve currency imperialism.
From EurActiv:
Arnaud Montebourg, the newly-appointed French minister for "industrial revival" who has built a reputation for his fierce attacks against globalisation, has promised to revive old plans by Nicolas Sarkzoy for a carbon tariff at the EU's borders, an idea previously rejected as protectionist among France's European partners.
"We must demand reciprocity," Montebourg told French public television during his first interview as minister, saying he will revive plans for a carbon tariff at the EU's borders to protect local industry from unfair competition.

"This is an external tax," he explained when asked whether this would mean imposing tariffs on products imported from China, where industries are not subject to CO2 emission limits.
The plan was "already on the agenda of the European Commission," Montebourg claimed.

An old and controversial idea
Brussels indeed floated the idea in 2008 when it presented its climate change and energy package of legislation. José Manuel Barroso, Commission president, said China and other exporting countries with lax climate policies could be forced to buy EU pollution permits if they want to trade with Europe.

But the idea gained few supporters. UK officials immediately responded saying they would fight any move to impose a 'carbon tax' on imports from non-EU countries.

Only Italy has officially supported the idea while Germany, which had initially backed it, later showed hesitation over fears it could lead to a trade war that would damage its export-dependent economy. Matthias Machnig, a former German environment minister, famously called the French idea "eco imperialism"....MORE