WTO / China Squawks at Carbon Tax


China presented a proposal for "dedicated multilateral discussions on the trade aspects and implications of certain environmental measures" at Wednesday’s meeting of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE).   The proposal is in response to the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which puts Chinese steelmakers at a competitive disadvantage.

China read out portions of its submission, cautioning against “green trade barriers,” asking that members implementing environmental measures with "wide ramifications" submit a written report for the Committee on Trade and Environment  to discuss.   “There is the need for more engagement in deep, detailed and constructive discussions, debates and deliberations, with a view to enhancing the understanding of the measures themselves and the specific concerns of members,” read the Chinese proposal.

The EU said it has already been presenting CBAM in detail at the WTO over the past two years and responding to members' questions, noting that it will hold an information session on the CBAM legal text which it said will be released in May. The EU also cautioned members from turning the Committee in to an informal dispute settlement body.

Members inveighed against the EU’s unilateral measures during Tuesday's discussion on the key features of the European Commission’s proposal for a regulation on Packaging and Packaging waste. 

This came after a heated session Tuesday where the EU came under fire from all sides for the CBAM and its forestry initiatives.

Several South American countries – Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia and Nicaragua – as well as India, Kenya, China and Russia – tore into the EU’s, said people who asked not to be quoted

The EU’s trans-Atlantic partner – the United States – apparently remained mum on the EU’s proposal at the meeting, while the United Kingdom seemed to have lent half-hearted support to the CBAM.  

 Significantly, even some industrialized countries like Japan and Korea, among others, cautiously raised concerns about some aspects of the EU’s CBAM at the meeting.



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