After provoking Mexico into a trade war, the Obama administration apparently has set its sights on the entire world. Steven Chu won a Nobel Prize for his work on energy, but shows himself as completely clueless on trade and diplomacy. Yesterday, Chu threatened to set off a global trade war over carbon tariffs:
Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday advocated adjusting trade duties as a “weapon” to protect U.S. manufacturing, just a day after one of China’s top climate envoys warned of a trade war if developed countries impose tariffs on carbon-intensive imports.
Mr. Chu, speaking before a House science panel, said establishing a carbon tariff would help “level the playing field” if other countries haven’t imposed greenhouse-gas-reduction mandates similar to the one President Barack Obama plans to implement over the next couple of years. It is the first time the Obama administration has made public its view on the issue.
“If other countries don’t impose a cost on carbon, then we will be at a disadvantage…[and] we would look at considering perhaps duties that would offset that cost,” Mr. Chu said.
No one can miss the target of this threat. China refuses to limit its energy production to match the Western fetish of “global warming”, and its trade would get more competitive after the US flagellates its manufacturing sector with cap-and-trade costs estimated to reach $2 trillion. Instead of rethinking their energy-penalty policies, the Obama administration apparently would prefer to start a trade war in the middle of a deep, global recession.
China got the message, and sent its own warning:
Li Gao, a senior Chinese negotiator from the National Development and Reform Commission, told Dow Jones Newswires Monday that a carbon tariff would be a “disaster,” would prompt a trade war and wouldn’t be legal under World Trade Organization agreements[.]
Agreements? We don’t need no stinkin’ agreements. Just as Mexico after our unilateral and apparently abrupt abrogation of NAFTA this week.
This administration keeps itching for a trade war. They’re eventually going to start one, and what better way than nonsense about carbon tariffs? The diplomatic Gong Show continues…