From: Reuters
Published December 10, 2009 05:46 AM

US Proposes Innovative Trade Concept to Fight Climate Change

The United States supports taking "early action" to liberalize trade in products that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and believes that could spur progress in broader world trade talks on environmental goods and services, a U.S. trade official said on Wednesday.

"We would be interested in early action on climate-friendly technologies. We are discussing this possibility with other countries," Carol Guthrie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative's office, told Reuters.


Negotiators from around the world are in Copenhagen through Dec 18 for U.N. talks aimed at reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

Washington believes reducing tariffs and other trade barriers on technologies that help countries reduce carbon dioxide emissions could be an important component of international action to address climate change.

At the same time, the House of Representatives has aroused international concern by including language in its climate bill that would allow the United States to impose a "carbon tariff" on imports from countries the president believes are not doing enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

That "would be a nuclear option in terms of trade consequence. For example, such an action by the U.S. and EU would be the equivalent of imposing a tariff of over 20 percent on China and India, resulting in lost exports of 20 percent," a recent World Bank study said.

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