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News Wednesday, May 31 2017

Trump Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement Would Lead to Job-Killing Tariffs on American Exports 

May 31, 2017

​If he withdraw​s​ the United States from the Paris Agreement, Donald Trump  ​would almost certainly trigger job-killing tariffs on American exports imposed by nations remaining in the agreement. In an interview, Mexico’s under secretary for environmental policy said a tariff against the United States was a possible response, and the European Union already taxes imports from countries it considers polluters. This self-destructive action from Trump would also def​y​ the overwhelming consensus among scientific and national security experts that climate change is an immediate threat that puts at risk the safety of the American people and future generations — and also jeopardize the American economy.

The United States ​would join Syria and Nicaragua as the third country in the world not to be in the Paris Agreement, which President Obama signed last year. In taking ​such an extremely reckless and short-sighted action, Donald Trump ​would put Made-in-America exports — a primary source of economic growth which support millions of high-paying jobs across the United States — ​under threat.

According to the Trump Administration itself, Made-in-America exports support over 11 million U.S. jobs – jobs that pay 13-18% higher salaries than the national average.

“Withdrawing the United States from the Paris agreement would be catastrophic decision for American national security that also threatens to undercut Made-in-America exports to the world​,” said American Bridge President Jessica Mackler. “​It would be a disgusting, heart-wrenching attack on future generations and on the millions of American families whose livelihoods depend on selling American manufactured and agricultural ​exports overseas.  Every day Donald Trump proves that he can’t be trusted with the presidency and that all of his promises to help people overcome economic hardship were lies. He shouldn’t make his betrayals even worse.​”

The European Union Charged Polluters Fees For Carbon Emissions, A Policy That China, Mexico, And Canada Were Also Considering. According to The New York Times, “Mr. Book, the analyst, noted that the risks of withdrawing from the Paris deal include not only diplomatic ill will, but also the possibility of trade reprisals. Countries that tax emissions of carbon dioxide pollution could place a carbon tariff on imports of American-made goods. The European Union currently charges polluters fees for carbon emissions, while China, Mexico and Canada are in the process of carrying out such programs.” [New York Times, 4/18/17]

  • November 2016: Mexican Environmental Policy And Planning Undersecretary Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo Said That Mexico May Impose A Carbon Tariff Against The U.S. Should It Withdraw From The Paris Climate Agreement. According to The New York Times, “Diplomats from around the world converged here this week with the plan to put details on last year’s Paris climate accord and move the globe closer to controlling the industrial emissions that are heating the planet. Instead, with the election of Donald J. Trump — and his threat to withdraw the United States from the accord — shellshocked negotiators confronted potentially deep fissures developing in the international consensus on climate change. […] ‘A carbon tariff against the United States is an option for us,’ Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo, Mexico’s under secretary for environmental policy and planning, said in an interview here.” [New York Times, 11/18/16]
  • December 2016: The French Government Stated That It Would Pursue Carbon Tariffs On U.S. Goods Coming Into The EU If The U.S. Were To Withdraw From The Paris Climate Agreement. According to Crowell & Moring LLP, “If the U.S. withdraws from the Paris Agreement or chooses to ignore its submitted NDC, other countries have limited direct means to stop it from doing so. However, countries are contemplating an indirect economic challenge – the creation and application of climate-related trade tariffs, taxes or duties (known as border adjustments). In fact, the French government has already stated publicly that it would immediately pursue an EU directive to impose carbon tariffs on U.S. goods coming into the European Union if the United States were to withdraw.” [Crowell & Morning LLP, 12/8/16]

World Resources Institute Senior Fellow Andrew Light Said That Countries Could Penalize The U.S. For Exiting The Paris Accord By Lowering Tariffs For Countries That Sell Clean Energy Technologies. According to Fast Company, “‘They could potentially do something even faster just by ignoring rules and stopping to participate,’ says Andrew Light, a distinguished senior fellow in the climate program at the World Resources Institute, who was also part of the climate team in the State Department leading up to the agreement. […] China is investing $360 billion in renewable energy over the next few years, which will create 13 million new jobs. Other countries may decide to penalize the U.S. if it fails on the Paris agreement. ‘They could do that by lowering tariffs, for example, from other countries that would be trying to sell clean energy technologies,’ he says.” [Fast Company, 1/31/17]

International Emissions Trading Organization President Dirk Forrister Said That The U.S. Withdrawing From The Paris Agreement Could “Start A Trade War Over Climate Change.” According to The New York Times, “‘The Paris Agreement is meant to get everyone on board in one structure where you can address climate change together,’ said Dirk Forrister, the president and chief executive of the International Emissions Trading Organization, a nonprofit organization that consults with governments and companies. ‘But if one big country backs out it could trigger a whole wave of trade responses.’ He added: ‘There is no need to start a trade war over climate change. But it might happen.’” [New York Times, 11/18/16]

ClearView Energy Partners Analyst Kevin Book That The U.S. Withdrawing From The Paris Accord Would “Invite Trade Reprisals,” Which “Could Lead To A Carbon Tariff Trade War.” According to The New York Times, “‘We do not currently believe the Trump administration plans to withdraw from either Paris agreement,’ wrote Kevin Book, an analyst at ClearView Energy Partners, a Washington firm, in a memo to clients on Monday. […] Mr. Book, the analyst, noted that the risks of withdrawing from the Paris deal include not only diplomatic ill will, but also the possibility of trade reprisals. […] ‘If the U.S. were to pull out, it would do so in the context that would invite trade reprisals,’ Mr. Book said. ‘It could lead to a carbon tariff trade war.’” [New York Times, 4/18/17]​

Published: May 31, 2017

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