Policy Documents

Free Trade in Environmental Goods: The Trade Remedy Problem

Simon Lester and K. William Watson –
August 19, 2013

In this Free Trade Bulletin for CATO, the authors assert that the administration's position on climate change has prompted policies to support so-called "clean energy."  He wants the U.S. to engage the WTO to ramp up free trade for environmental goods, and especially green energy.  The authors conclude:

Whether a proposal to exempt environmental goods from trade remedies is politically realistic remains to be seen. No one will really know the answer to this question until a government makes the proposal. In recent years, governments have talked a lot about supporting the envi- ronment and about promoting free trade. If they are serious about these goals, a proposal to eliminate all tariffs, includ- ing trade remedy tariffs, on a wide range of environmental goods would be a good way to accomplish both.