Sen. Bingaman today told U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab that Senate legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by establishing a cap-and-trade system must not disadvantage American businesses -- and that, contrary to Schwab's allegations, legitimate environmental regulations are in no way saber-rattling or a backdoor imposition of trade restrictions.
Schwab testified before the Finance Committee today. In her testimony, she said: “Attempting to force others to act on climate change through trade saber-rattling carries enormous risks. These threats to the global trading system cannot be ignored or glossed over.”
Bingaman pointed out, however, that a provision in both the Bingaman-Specter and Lieberman-Warner climate change bills would subject imported goods to the same cap-and-trade standards as domestically-produced goods.
“This is certainly not saber-rattling. This legislation addresses legitimate concerns on the part of U.S. industry, that they would be at a competitive disadvantage if the United States put a cap-and-trade system in place and did nothing to encourage others to follow suit,” Bingaman said.
Bingaman pointed out to Schwab that the Senate has worked for some time in crafting legislation and that it is a little late in the process to be raising such issues.
“I am frustrated that after we’ve gotten this far down the road, the only thing we hear from the administration is that we should stop saber-rattling,” Bingaman said. “That is not a constructive way to engage Congress."
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