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Implementing Carbon Tariffs: A Fool’s Errand?

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  • Michael O. Moore

Abstract

Some governments are considering taxes on imports based on carbon content from countries that have not introduced climate change policies. Such carbon border taxes appeal to domestic industries facing higher charges for their own carbon emissions. This research demonstrates that there are enormous practical difficulties surrounding such plans. Various policies are evaluated according to World Trade Organization compliance, administrative plausibility, help in meeting environmental goals, and ability to deal with domestic pressures. The steel industry is used as a case study in this analysis. All considered policies arguably fail to meet at least one of these constraints, bringing into question the plausibility that a carbon border tax can be practical policy.
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Suggested Citation

  • Michael O. Moore, 2011. "Implementing Carbon Tariffs: A Fool’s Errand?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(10), pages 1679-1702, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:34:y:2011:i:10:p:1679-1702
    DOI: j.1467-9701.2011.01406.x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-9701.2011.01406.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bown, Chad P., 2005. "Global antidumping database version 1.0," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3737, The World Bank.
    2. Aaditya Mattoo & Arvind Subramanian & Dominique van der Mensbrugghe & Jianwu He, 2009. "Reconciling Climate Change and Trade Policy," Working Papers 189, Center for Global Development.
    3. Thomas J. Prusa, 2001. "On the spread and impact of anti-dumping," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(3), pages 591-611, August.
    4. Michael Moore & Alan Fox, 2010. "Why don’t foreign firms cooperate in US antidumping investigations? An empirical analysis," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(4), pages 597-613, January.
    5. Michael O. Moore & Maurizio Zanardi, 2009. "Does antidumping use contribute to trade liberalization in developing countries?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 469-495, May.
    6. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Steve Charnovitz & Jisun Kim, 2009. "Global Warming and the World Trading System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4280.
    7. Messerlin, Patrick A., 2010. "Climate change and trade policy : from mutual destruction to mutual support," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5378, The World Bank.
    8. Roland Ismer & Karsten Neuhoff, 2007. "Border tax adjustment: a feasible way to support stringent emission trading," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 137-164, October.
    9. Michael O. Moore, 1996. "The Rise and Fall of Big Steel's Influence on U.S. Trade Policy," NBER Chapters,in: The Political Economy of Trade Protection, pages 15-34 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicole A. MATHYS & Jaime DE MELO, 2011. "The Political Economy of Climate Change Policies: Political Economy Aspects of Climate Change Mitigation Efforts," Working Papers P24, FERDI.
    2. Nicole A. MATHYS & Jaime DE MELO, 2012. "Reconciling Trade and Climate Policies," Working Papers P37, FERDI.
    3. Alessandro Antimiani & Valeria Costantini & Chiara Martini & Luca Salvatici, 2011. "Cooperative and non-cooperative solutions to carbon leakage," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0136, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    4. Keen, Michael & Kotsogiannis, Christos, 2014. "Coordinating climate and trade policies: Pareto efficiency and the role of border tax adjustments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 119-128.
    5. Patrick Messerlin, 2010. "Climate change and trade policy: From mutual destruction to mutual support," Working Papers hal-00972994, HAL.
    6. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/5l6uh8ogmqildh09h2q83h42k is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hübler, Michael, 2012. "Carbon tariffs on Chinese exports: Emissions reduction, threat, or farce?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 315-327.
    8. de Melo, Jaime, 2012. "Trade in a'green growth'development strategy : global scale issues and challenges," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6236, The World Bank.
    9. Patrick MESSERLIN, 2011. "Climate, trade and water: A “grand coalition”?," Working Papers P23, FERDI.
    10. Messerlin, Patrick A., 2010. "Climate change and trade policy : from mutual destruction to mutual support," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5378, The World Bank.
    11. Springmann, Marco, 2012. "A look inwards: Carbon tariffs versus internal improvements in emissions-trading systems," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 228-239.
    12. Antimiani, Alessandro & Costantini, Valeria & Martini, Chiara & Salvatici, Luca & Tommasino, Maria Cristina, 2013. "Assessing alternative solutions to carbon leakage," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 299-311.
    13. Steffen, Nico, 2016. "Optimal Tariffs and Firm Technology Choice: An Environmental Approach," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145861, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Patrick Messerlin, 2012. "Climate and trade policies: from mutual destruction to mutual support," Post-Print hal-01024537, HAL.
    15. Patrick Messerlin, 2012. "Climate and trade policies: from mutual destruction to mutual support," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/faqom67ai2q, Sciences Po.
    16. Patrick MESSERLIN, 2011. "Climate, trade and water: A “grand coalition”?," Working Papers P23, FERDI.
    17. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/faqom67ai2qsojk9j15c04u8j is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Ian Parry, 2013. "Fiscal instruments for climate finance," Chapters,in: Handbook on Energy and Climate Change, chapter 16, pages 377-402 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Patrick Messerlin, 2010. "Climate change and trade policy: From mutual destruction to mutual support," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5l6uh8ogmqi, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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