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French think about border taxes

The French socialists have revived earlier attempts by France to introduce border taxes on imports from countries which do not impose carbon taxes.  It is good policy for France (and for Europe) because it restores international competitiveness of French exports and import-competing industries.  It also provides incentives for countries to impose carbon taxes themselves and get the proceeds of the tax rather than France so economic incentives will motivate good international citizenship. Watch the Americans squeal like stuck pigs over the intended French actions even though they threatened the Chinese with similar actions in the now irrelevant Waxman-Markey Bill. Also watch four the lunatic right-wing response that the move by France constitutes protectionism.  It doesn’t if implemented honestly.  It is no more protectionism than is levying taxes on imported cigarettes as well as those locally produced in order to establish a level playing field in the fight against lung cancer.

2 comments to French think about border taxes

  • Jim Rose

    do import taxes usually improve the competitiveness of exporters?

    do exporters usually lobby for higher tariffs on imports into their own country?

  • derrida derider

    “also watch for the … response that the move by France constitutes protectionism. It doesn’t if implemented honestly.”

    That’s a very big “if” there – this is France we’re talking about. They’ve got form on protectionism, and lots of it.

    I reckon you’ll find the tariffs as implemented won’t so much restore the competitiveness of trade-exposed carbon-using French industries as prevent politically favoured industries ever having to become competitive.

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