WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) penned an op-ed in The Washington Times discussing the geopolitical threats China poses to U.S. global standing. Cassidy stresses the need for a U.S. foreign policy towards China that meets at the nexus of national security, energy security, economic policy, and climate policy.
“Any smart initiative to lower global carbon emissions needs to meet at the nexus of climate policy, energy policy, national security, and the economy. A foreign pollution fee is the most efficient tool to accomplish this task,” wrote Dr. Cassidy.
“If the U.S. applied a foreign pollution fee to goods produced in countries like China, it would encourage more manufacturing in the United States, which strengthens our economy creating American jobs. In the same stroke, it decreases global emissions,” continued Dr. Cassidy.
“A foreign population fee, coupled with permitting reform, is a solution that meets at the nexus… It would hold China accountable, increase opportunities for the American family, and is a policy we should all get behind,” concluded Dr. Cassidy.
Cassidy recently joined Greta Van Susteren on Newsmax to discuss his foreign pollution fee, noting the competitive advantage China receives from intentionally ignoring environmental standards.
Last year, Cassidy released a landmark energy & climate policy outline in response to the Biden administration’s assault on domestic energy. The outline details how the we can successfully reset U.S. energy policy, including Cassidy’s plan for an Energy Operation Warp Speed to cut permitting red tape and unleash domestic energy.
Read the full op-ed here or below.
Keeping Up with China Means Addressing its Carbon Emissions
Any smart initiative to lower global carbon emissions needs to meet at the nexus of climate policy, energy policy, national security, and the economy. A foreign pollution fee is the most efficient tool to accomplish this task.
China is the world’s largest driver of climate change. China‘s increase in emissions since the 2000s is greater than the decrease in emissions of the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), and the U.S. combined. Their pollution created per product produced—or pollution intensity—is amongst the worst in the world.
I represent Louisiana. We are losing coastline due to sea level rise and hurricanes. However, hundreds of thousands of Louisianans work in the energy industry, producing oil and gas and products essential for a modern economy. But unlike China, Louisiana’s pollution intensity for the products we produce is lower than almost every global competitor.
If products are not made in the U.S. using American environmental standards, those jobs often move to China where environmental and pollution standards are ignored. A foreign pollution fee would fix this dynamic.
A foreign pollution fee is a fee on foreign imports, like Chinese steel and chemicals, produced with lower environmental standards than cleaner American production. It curtails China‘s ability to undercut U.S. manufacturers by penalizing China for not meeting the same reasonable environmental standards to which domestic manufacturers are held. Importantly, it levels the playing field for American workers, making it less likely that jobs migrate to China.
We have this advantage because, over the past 40 years, the U.S. has enforced stricter pollution regulations and extensively funded research for cleaner energy sources like natural gas, renewables, and nuclear. It is time America and our workers receive a return on investment for these efforts. By adopting policies like the foreign pollution fee, we and our allies can create global markets for cleaner American products that would enhance the American economy and workforce and displace dirtier Chinese products.
Without this policy, our current system undercuts U.S. and EU steps to protect the environment and incentivizes countries like China, India, and Vietnam to ignore environmental standards. To illustrate, in the early 2000s, China was 19th and 20th in manufacturing and emissions. Today, China is number one in both categories with no close second. This economic development allows China to extend its military and geopolitical influence worldwide in competition with American interests. China harnesses this nexus to our detriment when the U.S. should be capitalizing on it for the positive.
If the U.S. applied a foreign pollution fee to goods produced in countries like China, it would encourage more manufacturing in the United States, which strengthens our economy creating American jobs. In the same stroke, it decreases global emissions. And as our economy further strengthens, it allows the U.S. to maintain its global position.
This is a realistic alternative to proposals for job-killing regulations and domestic carbon taxes that would increase the cost of American production and encourage more of it to move overseas. I oppose any policies that punish American industry, lead to higher global emissions, and hurt workers in my state. A foreign pollution fee, coupled with permitting reform, is a solution that meets at the nexus instead. It would hold China accountable, increase opportunities for the American family, and is a policy we should all get behind.