Call for tax if Trump scraps Paris pact

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

FRENCH pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Ni­co­las Sarkozy has pro­posed that Europe ap­ply a car­bon tax on Amer­i­can im­ports if Don­ald Trump pulls the US out of the Paris cli­mate pact.

More than 100 coun­tries have rat­i­fied the Paris global emis­sions deal, which was inked in De­cem­ber af­ter marathon talks to cap green­house gases that cause global warm­ing.

“Don­ald Trump has said – we’ll see if he keeps this prom­ise – that he won’t re­spect the con­clu­sions of the Paris cli­mate agree­ment,” Mr Sarkozy said on the TF1 tele­vi­sion channel.

“Well, I will de­mand that Europe put in place a car­bon tax at its bor­der, a tax of 1-3 per­cent, for all prod­ucts com­ing from the US, if the United States doesn’t ap­ply en­vi­ron­men­tal rules that we are im­pos­ing on our com­pa­nies,” he added.

Mr Sarkozy, a fron­trun­ner for the nom­i­na­tion of the cen­tre-right Repub­li­can party, is also in favour of forc­ing pub­lic au­thor­i­ties in Europe to use more prod­ucts or ma­te­ri­als made in Europe.

Europe can no longer be “weak” or “naive”, Mr Sarkozy said, even as he de­fended the idea of the free move­ment of peo­ple and goods.

US Pres­i­dent-elect Trump was elected on an overtly pro­tec­tion­ist plat­form, promis­ing to scrap in­ter­na­tional trade deals and rail­ing against jobs and fac­to­ries be­ing sent abroad.

Econ­o­mists fear that moves to pro­tect na­tional mar­kets through tar­iffs or other bar­ri­ers risk kick­ing off a global cy­cle of mea­sures that would re­duce in­ter­na­tional trade.

UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki­moon told AFP that Mr Trump might reconsider his pledge to can­cel the Paris deal, say­ing it would “cre­ate se­ri­ous prob­lems if any­body wants to undo it”.

France’s Repub­li­cans will se­lect this month their can­di­date for next year’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Ex-prime min­is­ter Alain Juppe holds a lead in the polls over Mr Sarkozy, who was pres­i­dent from 2007 to 2012. –

Photo: AFP

Ni­co­las Sarkozy says Europe can no longer be weak or naive.

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