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NFTC, USCIB Release Joint Letter on Trade and Competitiveness Provisions in Climate Bill
Date: 6/25/2009
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Washington DC  – With the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 slated for a vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives later this week, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today joined with the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB) to release a letter to House leaders. The letter applauds House leaders for their “priority attention to addressing climate change and [their] leadership in Congress on advancing responsible and internationally-minded domestic solutions to a global problem” while outlining concerns that certain provisions under consideration by the House are likely to cause friction with U.S. allies and conflict with U.S. obligations under international trade rules.

While the bill’s approaches to mitigating the impacts of climate change have been debated, insufficient attention has been paid to whether the provisions are compliant with international trade rules. As the organizations note in their letter, “In order to achieve a successful and lasting domestic solution for addressing climate change, U.S. legislation must abide by U.S. international trade obligations and should encourage action by other major emitting countries.”

The groups also encourage House leaders to link innovation and trade more closely with the ability of the United States to deliver clean technologies to the developing world. They note the importance of protecting intellectual property for promoting innovation and delivering clean technologies to developing countries and that lowering tariffs and other trade barriers on environmentally-friendly goods and services is “an important method for facilitating the export of clean technologies abroad.” The groups call on Congress to encourage the Administration to investigate the feasibility of an agreement to lower trade barriers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

To read the full text of the letter, please click here.

NFTC Vice President for Global Trade Issues Jake Colvin is available to discuss the trade-related provisions of the draft legislation.

Mr. Colvin is available to discuss:

 
• Components of the bill that are of concern with respect to international trade rules;

• The importance of ensuring that domestic climate change policies comply with U.S. international obligations to avoid trade retaliation and World Trade Organization challenges;

• If approved by Congress, the impact of the bill on the ability to achieve global climate agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December; and

• The connection between trade and innovation and the delivery of clean technologies to the developing world.
 
If you are interested in scheduling an interview with Mr. Colvin, please contact Jennifer Cummings (jcummings@fratelli.com) at 202-822-9491.

Background

As an organization focused on international trade and tax policy, the NFTC does not support a particular policy on climate change and or endorse specific legislation, but strongly advocates that U.S. climate change policies be compliant with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. The NFTC believes that because climate change is a global issue, success in dealing with it depends on multilateral cooperation and ensuring that the United States conforms to existing international rules and participates in multilateral efforts to further refine them.



About the NFTC


Advancing Global Commerce for 95 Years - The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.