PrintPrint CiteCite
Style: MLAAPAChicago Close


Sebastian Mallaby on 'Green Tariffs'

Interviewee: Sebastian Mallaby, Director, Center for Geoeconomic Studies, CFR
Interviewer: Lee Hudson Teslik, Assistant Editor, CFR.org
March 7, 2008

Sebastian Mallaby, the director of CFR’s Center for Geoeconomic Studies, says the next U.S. president should consider the possible effects of “green tariffs” on the welfare of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Mallaby broaches the possibility that a U.S. cap-and-trade system aimed at mitigating greenhouse gases could lead to a push for broad tariffs—“green tariffs”—aimed at punishing importers of steel or cement who do not follow rules on greenhouse gas emissions. Disputes over such measures could wind up at the World Trade Organization, Mallaby says.

If the next U.S. administration decides to ignore rulings that run counter to its policy, that in turn could undermine the WTO’s dispute settlement system and its tribunals. “There’s a threat there to the legitimacy of the World Trade Organization,” Mallaby says. “Because global trade does function best when you can have rules that can be resolved by these kind of tribunals, that is a threat to what we’ve achieved, and that is where we need to focus.” He adds that preserving the current dispute settlement framework should take precedence over pressing a new multilateral trade deal through the Doha round of WTO talks.

Terms of Use: I understand that I may access this audio and/or video file solely for my personal use. Any other use of the file and its content, including display, distribution, reproduction, or alteration in any form for any purpose, whether commercial, noncommercial, educational, or promotional, is expressly prohibited without the written permission of the copyright owner, the Council on Foreign Relations. For more information, write permissions@cfr.org.

More on This Topic


Deadlock in Durban

Author: Jagdish N. Bhagwati
Project Syndicate

Because of increasing American recalcitrance on multilateral issues, Jagdish Bhagwati holds little hope for the Durban climate change talks.


A Thoughtless Tax

Authors: Jagdish N. Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya
The Times of India

Proposals that any carbon tax in developing countries which falls below the one in the developed countries should be offset through other...

Analysis Brief

Gloomy Portents for Global Trade

Author: Lee Hudson Teslik

A downbeat Davos summit brings warnings of trade protectionism into the limelight. Economists say these concerns should be taken into account...