December 6, 2023 /3BL/ - Ceres applauds U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy (R – LA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D – RI) for each introducing legislation that would create a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) — otherwise known as a foreign polluter fee — in the U.S. Together, the bills showcase a bipartisan opportunity to lower global climate pollution by leveraging American leadership in clean manufacturing, while also advancing U.S. economic, geopolitical, and national security interests.
The legislation from Sen. Cassidy and Sen. Whitehouse differ in some areas, but both bills are premised on assessing fees on imports that do not meet U.S. environmental standards, supporting domestic economic growth, and encouraging cleaner manufacturing overseas, including through export of U.S. technology.
“A carbon border adjustment mechanism would bring substantial climate, manufacturing, national security, and geopolitical benefits to the U.S. and its economy, while cementing America’s global leadership in clean industry and environmental stewardship,” said Zach Friedman, director of federal policy, Ceres. “This pro-growth, market-based policy has the support of U.S. companies and will encourage businesses and governments around the world to cut pollution that harms the climate and risks economic growth. It also presents a major opportunity to continue the boom in clean technology investment, bringing new economic opportunities across the U.S. while reducing pollution in the communities suffering the most from environmental damage both domestically and around the world. We are grateful to Sens. Cassidy and Whitehouse for introducing these bills, demonstrating the potential for U.S. trade policy that refuses to give polluters an unfair advantage. We urge lawmakers of both parties to negotiate a bipartisan bill to pass this Congress, giving America’s businesses and workers a level playing field to compete and win the race to build an abundant clean energy future for all.”
Throughout 2023, Ceres has worked to build support among companies and investors for a CBAM. In May, at the annual LEAD on a Clean Economy advocacy event, Ceres hosted Sen. Cassidy in a meeting with large U.S. companies to discuss the concept, and the organization has also supported efforts to quantify the pollution associated with foreign-made products and how it compares to U.S. products.
A CBAM would be especially valuable for the U.S. as other governments, including the European Union, introduce their own, setting up the possibility of trade agreements between markets that assess imports for their climate impacts. By leveraging recent federal legislation driving business investment in clean U.S. industry, it would also help to restore manufacturing in U.S. communities, while encouraging pollution reduction and clean energy investment in places most heavily impacted by pollution — both domestically and around the world.
Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.
Media Contact: Helen Booth-Tobin, [email protected], 617-247-0700 ext. 214