First, this point:
In other words, the Green Shift is likely to be a farce unless it is accompanied by some form of protectionism that prevents the replacement of relatively carbon-clean Canadian goods by dirty foreign ones.
The NP editorial board acknowledges that this is the other shoe to drop in this entire conversation, if the Green Shift is too actually succeed. But, then the NP contorts to criticize that which they view as logical:
It would be a shame if we responded by placing control of our foreign policy in the hands of an economic masochist who is not even content to wait for American political action before he tries to impose what he bizarrely imagines to be American environmental values — so like his own! — on Canadian businesses and taxpayers.
Following the tortured logic here, the NP seems to be arguing that Dion is wrong to make assumptions about what the Americans will ultimately do, there is no advantage in going "first", until we see how things shakeout stateside. First off, what Dion is saying is no different than what the Americans are starting to say, it is all theoretical at the moment, last time I checked the Liberals aren't in power, and beyond that we still would have 4 years of plan implementation. A carbon tariff is a distant idea, and everyone knows it, but Dion is merely reacting to an emerging reality, getting ahead of the curve, unless of course the American Congress is an empty vessel:
New York: The US Senate has passed a legislative amendment recommending imposition of carbon tariff on goods imported into the United States from countries like India and China, which do not have an effective emission program on the lines desired by the US.
Sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif) and carrying bipartisan support, the Boxer amendment to the budget resolution was passed by Senate 54 votes to 41 last week.
Boxer said: “And when those imports come in at our ports, if those countries seeking entry into our country do not have equivalent programs, then they will have to get the allowances at the border in order to bring those goods into the country.”
Buried within the 1000+ page Warner-Lieberman climate change act is a provision for something called “international reserve allowances” and what is quickly being dubbed a “Carbon Tariff.” Essentially the provision applies a cross-border, per ton, carbon tax on imported goods that are manufactured in countries that do not have limits on carbon emissions. If an item creates 2 tons of carbon dioxide in its manufacture and a 1 ton carbon credit trades for $30 - then the tariff would be $60 on that item.
How dare Dion process a growing sentiment, incorporate that idea into future plans. What nonsense for the NP to attack Dion on this angle, when in fact the idea is real and currently being debated by some of the most influential legislators in America. Shorter NP, hey Dion cut out the forethought, vision is a dangerous animal.
And, it isn't just the Americans, the discussion is more advanced in Europe:
LONDON (Reuters) - The European Commission is debating whether to push for a carbon tariff on imports from countries that do not tackle their greenhouse gas emissions, as part of climate change proposals due out this month.
Supporters of the measure say it would level the playing field for European companies facing tougher domestic emissions penalties. The new rules would be part of a raft of post-2012 proposals covering issues including national emissions targets and clean energy subsidies.
The NP spends the first portion of the article outlining why something would have to be done on the import side, then heaps scorn on Dion for addressing that point. The article is rife with logical inconsistency, which speaks to a politically motivated thesis, rather an a consistent argument. Somewhere a puppy awaits his training reading material. Let's hope it's a soaker.