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How Large are the Impacts of Carbon Motivated Border Tax Adjustments

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  • Yan Dong
  • John Whalley

Abstract

This paper discusses the size of impact of carbon motivated border tax adjustments on world trade. We report numerical simulation results which suggest that impacts on welfare, trade, and emissions will likely be small. This is because proposed measures use carbon emissions in the importing country in producing goods similar to imports rather than carbon content in calculating the size of barriers. Moreover, because border adjustments involve both tariffs and export rebates, it is the differences in emissions intensity across sector rather than emissions level which matters. Where there is no difference in emissions intensities across sectors, Lerner symmetry holds for the border adjustment and no relative effects occur. In our numerical simulation analyses border tax adjustments accompany carbon emission reduction commitments made either unilaterally , or as part of a global treaty and to be applied against non signatories. We use a four-region (US, EU, China, ROW) general equilibrium structure which captures energy trade and has endogenously determined energy supply so that global emissions can change with policy changes. We calibrate our model to 2006 data and analyze the potential impacts of both EU and US carbon pricing at various levels, either along with or without carbon motivated BTAs policies on welfare, emissions, trade flows and production. Results indicate only small impacts of these measures on global emissions, trade and welfare, but the signs of effects are as expected. BTAs alleviate leakage effects as expected. In trade impacts, compared with no BTAs, BTAs reduce imports of committing countries, and increase imports by other countries. EU and US BTAs against China reduce exports by China. With BTAs, the value of production in the country with carbon reduction measures are introduced increases, and other country’s production decreases compared with the case of no BTAs. With the contraction of world trade flows caused by the financial crisis, carbon motivated BTAs offer a prospect of a compounding effect in a world which is going protectionist and decarbonized at the same time, but the added effects of BTAs seems small.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15613.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15613

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References

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  1. Whalley, John, 1979. "Uniform domestic tax rates, trade distortions and economic integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 213-221, March.
  2. Mattoo, Aaditya & Subramanian, Arvind & van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique & He, Jianwu, 2009. "Reconciling climate change and trade policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5123, The World Bank.
  3. Susanne Dröge & Claudia Kemfert, 2005. "Trade Policy to Control Climate Change: Does the Stick Beat the Carrot?," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 74(2), pages 235-248.
  4. Cai, Yuezhou & Riezman, Raymond & Whalley, John, 2013. "International trade and the negotiability of global climate change agreements," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 421-427.
  5. Krauss, Melvyn B & Johnson, Harry G, 1972. "The Theory of Tax Incidence: A Diagrammatic Analysis," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 39(156), pages 357-82, November.
  6. Weber, Christopher L. & Peters, Glen P., 2009. "Climate change policy and international trade: Policy considerations in the US," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 432-440, February.
  7. Ben Lockwood & John Whalley, 2010. "Carbon-motivated Border Tax Adjustments: Old Wine in Green Bottles?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(6), pages 810-819, 06.
  8. Fischer, Carolyn & Fox, Alan K., 2009. "Comparing Policies to Combat Emissions Leakage: Border Tax Adjustments versus Rebates," Discussion Papers dp-09-02, Resources For the Future.
  9. Philippe Quirion & Damien Demailly, 2006. "Leakage from climate policies and border tax adjustment:lessons from a geographic model of the cement industry," Working Papers halshs-00009337, HAL.
  10. Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1984. "Applied General-Equilibrium Models of Taxation and International Trade: An Introduction and Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 1007-51, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Qin Bao & Ling Tang & ZhongXiang Zhang & Han Qiao & Shouyang Wang, 2011. "Impacts of Border Carbon Adjustments on China’s Sectoral Emissions: Simulations with a Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium Model," Working Papers 2011.93, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Ling Tang & Qin Bao & ZhongXiang Zhang & Shouyang Wang, 2013. "Carbon-based Border Tax Adjustments and China’s International Trade: Analysis based on a Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium Model," Working Papers 2013.17, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2012. "Competitiveness and Leakage Concerns and Border Carbon Adjustments," Working Papers 2012.80, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Aaditya Mattoo & Arvind Subramanian & Dominique Mensbrugghe & Jianwu He, 2013. "Trade effects of alternative carbon border-tax schemes," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 587-609, September.
  5. Ling Tang & Qin Bao & ZhongXiang Zhang & Shouyang Wang, 2013. "Carbon-based Border Tax Adjustments and China’s International Trade: Analysis based on a Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium Model," CCEP Working Papers 1301, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  6. John Whalley, 2011. "What Role for Trade in a Post 2012 Global Climate Policy Regime," NBER Working Papers 17498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Li, Aijun & Zhang, Aizhen & Cai, Hongbo & Li, Xingfeng & Peng, Shishen, 2013. "How large are the impacts of carbon-motivated border tax adjustments on China and how to mitigate them?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 927-934.
  8. Stibniati Atmadja & Louis Verchot, 2012. "A review of the state of research, policies and strategies in addressing leakage from reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 311-336, March.
  9. Li, Aijun & Lin, Boqiang, 2013. "Comparing climate policies to reduce carbon emissions in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 667-674.

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