“Eco” is like the carbon molecule of political vocabulary. You can combine it with so many other words to get new words. Eco-feminism, eco-terrorism, eco-mysticism, etc. Germany takes the cake for inventing “eco-imperialism” and introducing serious questions into the debate over the effects of environmental reform on national economies and free trade.
Reuters reported last week that Germany’s State Secretary for the Environment Matthias Machnig used the word to attack a French plan to levy tariffs on imports from countries that haven’t tried hard enough to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Such a plan, he said, would amount to “eco-imperialism” and are a violation of World Trade Organization rules. You see, the French need to impose tariffs on other countries because their own environmental regulations make their domestic goods and services too expensive to be competitive. That means:
- France passes environmental taxes.
- France cripples its economy.
- France petitions EU to tax imports from non-EU countries in order to keep its domestic goods competitive in domestic markets.
- Other economies suffer.
On top of the issue of tariffs being a threat to free trade, there is the issue of supernational governments/treaties and how they hurt even countries that don’t participate in them in the first place. Non-EU members and non-signatories of the Kyoto Protocol get screwed. Actually, it’s the consumers in EU and signatory countries that get screwed. They pay higher prices because their governments don’t believe in free markets, competition and free trade. But…they will get what they voted for. I hope it’s worth it.
The worst part of this article? It states that the cap-and-tax bill that just passed the House is serving as a model for the EU to enact carbon tariffs. That means that the American Clean Energy and Security Act is so socialist that Europe hasn’t even thought of it yet, and they have to play catch up to us in the game of “let’s ruin free markets to solve a problem that isn’t even our fault in the first place.”
In other news, tax-delinquent Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geitner is finding it hard to sell his home, too…even though he “saved the economy.”