President Barack Obama’s plans to limit greenhouse-gas emissions may be stymied by the specter of an international trade war.
U.S. Steel Corp., American Electric Power Co. and the AFL- CIO, the largest U.S. federation of labor unions, are all pressing lawmakers for protection against imports from countries that won’t have to bear the costs of any new measures to curb global warming.
The companies say fees might be needed to prevent price- undercutting by manufacturers in countries that won’t match U.S. climate-change standards. Lobbying groups for exporters such as Microsoft Corp. counter that imposing penalties on imports may violate World Trade Organization rules and spark retaliation by China and other nations.
“Climate change is going to be the big issue of the next year, and no one has really grappled with the trade aspects,” said Jake Colvin, vice president at the Washington-based National Foreign Trade Council, whose members include Caterpillar Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Microsoft. The idea of assessing fees on imports is “alarming,” he said.
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Pro-life lawmakers pledge to resist spending bills that don’t include the Hyde amendment.
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