U.S. domestic policies to stem climate change have already gotten it into international trouble with China, most notably with the Obama administration slapping high tariffs on Chinese-made solar cells.
The Commerce Department recently issued its final determination on Chinese companies of anti-dumping duties from just over 31 percent up to 250 percent percent on photovoltaic solar cells and anti-subsidy duties of up to more than 15 percent were also recommended.
“It will inevitably lead to a rhetorical rebuke from Beijing and a reminder that China is challenging U.S. anti-subsidy policy at the World Trade Organization and in US courts,” Lincicome added. “But it also could lead to a more forceful response from China in the form of a new trade remedies investigation or a WTO dispute against US green subsidies.”
China and the U.S. are already embroiled in investigations over the nature of their green energy programs, and critics charge that these policies are causing a trade are between the two nations.
“[W]e remain concerned about the growing global trade war, which will only hurt American solar industry jobs, growth and consumers,” Jigar Shah, president of Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy — which opposed the tariff — said in a statement.
There’s also the issue of carbon emissions regulation. The European Union has already extended an its carbon emissions tax to all international airlines flying to and from the EU — including U.S. airlines — and now they are looking to extend this scheme to international shipping.
“The European Union is threatening a new set of taxes on Americans. After introducing an illegal tax on all flights to and from Europe, the EU announced that it wants to force a similar scheme on shipping,” said Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin in statement calling on the Obama administration to act in order to block the tax.
Apart from efforts to impose a carbon tax at home, the international community has been pushing for a carbon tax for some time, which will greatly disadvantage countries heavily reliant on fossil fuels — which will have major geopolitical impacts.
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