Chirac Threatens To Extort Kyoto Adoption
President Chirac of France has announced intentions to use extortionary tactics against the United States if the U.S. does not sign the Kyoto climate protocol as well as other future agreements concerning Global Warming. From the NYTimes:
But he warned that if the United States did not sign the agreements, a carbon tax across Europe on imports from nations that have not signed the Kyoto treaty could be imposed to try to force compliance. The European Union is the largest export market for American goods.
"A carbon tax is inevitable," Mr. Chirac said. "If it is European, and I believe it will be European, then it will all the same have a certain influence because it means that all the countries that do not accept the minimum obligations will be obliged to pay."
Trade lawyers have been divided over the legality of a carbon tax, with some saying it would run counter to international trade rules. But Mr. Chirac said other European countries would back it. "I believe we will have all of the European Union," he said.
Since the U.S. recognizes that Kyoto is nothing more than a U.N. sponsored tax on the U.S., as well as being an anchor on our economy, the threat of a carbon tax on U.S. goods is pure extortion to force the U.S., and other countries, into a bad deal.
Quite frankly, if France and the rest of the E.U. does use such a tactic as a "carbon tax" to extort more money from U.S. businesses, then it would only be appropriate to implement a counter tax that can be used to provide credits to businesses that do business in the E.U. to make up the difference. Otherwise, the price of U.S. goods would be higher than they currently are as business always passes such expenses on to the consumers.
Either way, such tactics are damaging both to business and to consumers, not to mention the average working joe who gets caught in the middle of such tactics, and is put at risk of losing his job.