Instead Of A Carbon Tax On Canadians, Impose ‘Climate Tariffs’ On China

We need to decouple our economy from China anyway, and if calling tariffs ‘climate tariffs’ is what governments need to feel good about it then it’s worth the price.

When it comes to emissions, there is one clear trend above all others:

While emissions are declining in North America and Europe, those reductions are being outdone by rising emissions in China.

Emissions are rising both in China, and in other parts of Asia in large part due to China’s financing of the construction of many new coal power plants.

In short, while we restrict our economy here at home and impose burdens on our citizens, China is taking advantage, growing their economy (which of course makes it easier for them to grow their military), and seeking to catch up to, and then supplant their democratic rivals.

At the same time, we have also seen how overly dependent we are on China.

Our inability to produce here at home has left us vulnerable and at the mercy of a country that is acting increasingly hostile.

The solution then is to further decouple our economy from China, and tariffs are a key way to do that.

Usually, tariffs are looked at as a negative thing, particularly among those (like myself), who generally think free trade can be positive.

However, particularly when dealing with China, ‘free trade’ becomes a trap.

China uses government power to such a dramatic extent that they are able to copy industries from other countries (look at Nortel & Huawei), pump tons of money into them to build them up, and then push them back onto the markets they initially ‘borrowed’ from.

This results in more and more production moving to China, weakening the strategic position of other nations including Canada.

Tariffs are a key way to respond to that.

And since China is also increasing emissions, many people will feel better if they are called ‘climate tariffs.’

While not a fan of the wording myself (we should be imposing tariffs on China regardless), many governments will feel better if they can impose tariffs on China while calling them ‘climate tariffs.’

And if it addresses China’s emissions while decoupling Canada from China economically (or at least reducing our dependence on China), who cares what it’s called?

Conservative Climate Plan should be replacing the carbon tax with climate tariffs on China

With the Conservatives still searching for their ‘climate plan’, or at least waiting to reveal it, they should push for climate tariffs on China to replace the carbon tax.

Repeal the carbon tax, and imposing climate tariffs on China would be consistent with the tough-on-China approach the Conservatives have been taking (personnel decisions aside), and would be a credible way to address both our dependence on China and China’s increasing emissions.

It would be a clear and tangible plan that would accomplish three things all at once:

  • Address China’s emissions by reducing our contribution to those emissions through less purchasing of products from China.
  • Incentivize Canadian manufacturing and production by making made-in-Canada products more competitively priced relative to products made in China.
  • Reduce our dependence on China, which the past year has shown has gone way too far.

Climate tariffs on China are a far better policy than carbon taxes on Canadians, and the Conservatives should push to make this idea a reality.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube

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