Monday, July 20, 2009

The New York Times (Politely) Endorses a Trade War

This is rather significant, though the momentum has been building for some time.

Trade and climate policy have become increasingly entangled. A failure to agree on how to address global warming could undermine half a century of opening world trade.
There are precedents for using trade measures for environmental goals. The Montreal Agreement to curb the use of ozone-depleting gases included trade controls on such substances. And the World Trade Organization has suggested that levying taxes at the border on the carbon content of imports would be acceptable if they are devised properly — in the same sort of way as some consumption taxes are levied on imports, ensuring equal treatment with domestic products.
Without such a deal, trade is going to have problems. Failing to conclude the current negotiations will be the least of them.

Given the emphasis on environmental issues in U.S. schools, it would make sense that any trade war come in an green-friendly package. Too much effort has been spent propagandizing about to Smoot-Hawley to finesse it any other way.

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