CIEL Policy Brief | July 2015
The Customs Bill: an unacceptable barrier to climate action
Summary and key messages
A proposed amendment to the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act (TPA) incorporated into the House version of the Customs Bill poses significant risks to future progress on climate mitigation if accepted.
The language of the provision raises new and significant barriers in the fight against global climate change. Specifically, it would:
– Make it more difficult to ensure climate mitigation efforts by the United States and our global partners are not undermined by new or existing trade agreements;
– Complicate global climate negotiations by increasing uncertainty about what measures U.S. negotiators can and cannot negotiate on; and
– Foreclose an array of necessary and potentially powerful tools to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and deliver on global political commitments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.
By leaving domestic climate measures open to continued trade attacks, injecting new uncertainty into vital climate talks and shutting off an important avenue for climate action, the provision will pose a new and unnecessary obstacle to climate response measures. Accordingly, it should be rejected.