US lawmakers push carbon border tariff similar to EU’s CBAM

(EurActiv, 22 Jul 2021) Democrats in the US Senate are considering a “polluter import fee”, similar to the EU’s recently unveiled carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), to help fund President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion recovery package.

A Democratic aide said the deal reached by leading Senate Democrats last week would include a proposal for a “polluter import fee” applicable to carbon-intensive goods entering the US.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said “there is a lot of support” for the idea, according to Bloomberg.

The US import fee would mimic the EU’s recently proposed CBAM, which seeks to put a carbon price on imported goods as a way to equalise costs for European industry and prevent them from leaving Europe for countries where it is cheaper to pollute.

The EU proposal has already stoked fears among emerging countries like China, which raised “grave concerns” about the carbon levy creating new barriers to trade.

But the European Commission, which tabled the proposal last week, says the EU’s carbon border levy also aims to incite Europe’s trading partners to decarbonise.

“CBAM as we call it is not a tax, it’s an environmental measure,” said Paolo Gentiloni, a former Italian Prime Minister who is now the EU’s economy commissioner.

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EurActiv, 22 Jul 2021: US lawmakers push carbon border tariff similar to EU’s CBAM