Biden administration to consider carbon border tax as part of trade agenda: USTR

FILE PHOTO: Katherine C. Tai addresses the Senate Finance committee hearings to examine her nomination to be United States Trade Representative, with the rank of Ambassador, in Washington, DC February 25, 2021. Bill O’Leary/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden Administration on Monday said it would consider carbon border adjustment taxes to help cut greenhouse gas emissions in global trade and intends to pursue “strengthened enforcement” to ensure that China lives up to existing trade obligations.

Releasing a new administration trade agenda, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said the carbon border adjustment, which are import fees levied by carbon-taxing countries on goods manufactured in non-carbon-taxing countries, would be considered as part of an effort to explore and develop market and regulatory approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The broad set of trade priorities, released just days after U.S. Trade Representative nominee Katherine Tai appeared before the Senate Finance Committee, also includes committing to initiating and advancing factory-level labor enforcement actions under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

“The president’s trade agenda will restore U.S. global leadership on critical matters like combating forced labor and exploitative labor conditions, corruption and discrimination against women and minorities around the world,” USTR said in its report, which also included an update on the Trump administration’s final trade actions in 2020.

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