How a trade war and climate denial can turn into a Trump tarriff on American products

How a trade war and climate denial can turn into a Trump tarriff on American products

Donald Trump is pulling out of the Transpacific Partnership (hey, I guess the loud Left got their president), and has threatened withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

The world is not amused. Leaders from Asia Pacific countries are responding with the realization that the next occupant of the White House has just conceded the massive growth markets of Asia and South and Central America to China. Don't take my word for it; China is already advancing its Free Trade Area for the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which was previously going nowhere but has now been breathed new life by Donald Trump's announcement that he will withdraw from the TPP.

The response against Trump's threat to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, however, is far more searing. Major corporate leaders are already calling on Trump drop his campaign pledge to withdraw. In addition to calling on Trump to reverse course on his campaign promise, world leaders are openly talking about a Trump Tarriff on American products should President Pussygrabber decide to follow through on this devastating promise.

The first salvo was thrown by Trump's number one target and nemesis, Mexico.

“A carbon tariff against the United States is an option for us,” Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo, Mexico’s under secretary for environmental policy and planning, said in an interview here. He added, “We will apply any kind of policy necessary to defend the quality of life for our people, to protect our environment and to protect our industries.”

This is quite a role reversal. When President Obama and other world leaders negotiated the far reaching Paris Agreement, it brought together rising powers like India, China and Brazil with developed countries to address the growing threat of climate change that is already reality. At this moment, all of the world's major economic powers are parties (or signatories) to this agreement. That being the case, the whole world has buy-in, and they are not about to let America go rogue without any consequences.

Tariffs can be easily justified as other countries can easily make the case that by withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, the United States is unfairly advantaging itself by not assuming costs other countries are, and the tariffs would merely be a way for those trading partners to recoup the cost of that unfair advantage.

Indeed, Mexico isn't the only country talking about tariffs. Canada, America's largest trading partner, is getting in on it too. The European Union as a whole can impose a carbon tariff. China, the 800 pound gorilla, ain't playing either as it looks to simultaneously assert leadership over the fastest growing trade market in the world and assume a dominant position in climate control.

The world is a different place than it appears in the white-colored glasses the American white working class seems to be wearing. The United States is no longer the only market the rest of the world can go to sell their goods. There simply are no indispensable industrial product that America makes and no one else does. The United States can still provide leadership, but it can no longer be hegemonic.

The world's rising economies are not about to let go of their best chance to effectively address climate change without crippling economies - which can only be done by leveling the playing field - even if they have to drag the United States kicking and screaming. The United States can either lead or become irrelevant.



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