US Takes Further Steps towards a Carbon Border Tariff

US Senators from both the Democrat and Republican Parties intend to introduce a bill that would lay the groundwork for America’s first carbon border tax, according to the Washington Post. The proposed Prove It Act, would require the Energy Department to study the emissions intensity of certain products — including aluminium, cement, crude oil, fertilizer, iron, steel and plastic produced in the United States and in certain countries. This may then provide sufficient groundwork for a border tariff, although there are some doubts whether this is legally possibly if the US doesn’t itself impose a domestic carbon tax. One of the senators introducing the Bill stated that the “larger objective over the next few years” is to calm these transatlantic tensions by creating a “carbon club” — a group of allied countries that have all adopted ambitious climate laws (linked with trade).  Such a club could include the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

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