Americans should be required to “pay” for the carbon content of goods they consume from other countries because the consumption activity leads to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, said U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke at a meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, reports Reuters.
Locke spoke to the business group after meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and other officials on how the two countries could work together to reduce carbon dioxide and other GHG emissions, according to Reuters.
The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed climate legislation that creates a market for trading pollution permits to curb emissions and includes a provision that would allow the United States to impose tariffs on carbon-intensive goods that don’t match U.S. carbon-dioxide restrictions.
Locke said in the article that Chinese officials raised concern about those provisions this week, calling it a tax on their carbon activity.
Though U.S. President Barack Obama has expressed concern about the House “carbon tariffs,” Locke told Reuters the administration will weigh in more on various elements of the bill once the Senate passes its version of the bill and negotiations begin between the House and Senate.