May 16, 2008
International Competition and Climate Change Legislation
A fundamental stumbling block to domestic climate legislation and international climate regimes has been concern about disparate levels of emission reduction in developing and developed countries and the consequent risks to the international competitiveness of U.S. industry and American jobs. The Kyoto Protocol was seen by both political parties as a bad deal for U.S. business and workers in large part because it failed to apply emissions limitations to developing nations that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases.
As pressure builds for federal action on climate legislation, international competitiveness concerns have come into sharp focus. The Senate will soon consider S. 2191, the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which contains a provision authorizing the President to impose border adjustment fees on certain energy intensive products from countries that have not created climate programs "comparable" to the US regime. There is considerable debate about whether this approach will comply with WTO and, in addition, whether it will provide adequate protection to U.S. industries at risk. Competing proposals are circulating in Washington that would seek to "level the playing field" by different means. Pur illustrious panel of experts discussed:
- Can and should federal climate legislation ensure American business a level playing field?
- Are pending legislative proposals on international competitiveness effective and politically viable?
- Are the legislative proposals legal? Would they survive World Trade Organization scrutiny?
Robert Sussman, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Jennifer Haverkamp, Senior Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund
Mark Linscott, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources
Martin McBroom, Director, Federal Environmental Affairs, American Electric Power
Alan Price, Partner, Wiley Rein, LLP
Martin McBroom PowerPoint presentation, Handouts
Alan Price PowerPoint presentation, Handouts
Please click here for more information on the
Understanding Climate Change Law seminar series.