EU Threatens China with Carbon Pricing Import Duties

Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission. By © European Union 2019 – Source: EP, CC BY 4.0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon; The new President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has threatened to impose import duties on China unless they implement a domestic Chinese carbon tax.

Davos 2020: Ursula von der Leyen warns China to price carbon or face tax

Commission president sets out Brussels’ plan for CO2 border adjustment mechanism

Mehreen Khan in Brussels and Gideon Rachman in Davos YESTERDAY

Ursula von der Leyen has warned China and other large fossil fuel producers to find a way to price carbon at home or risk being hit by the EU with a planned CO2 tax on imports.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, the president of the European Commission laid out Brussels’ plan to set up a carbon border adjustment mechanism that would hit importers from countries that do not respect international climate goals. 

“There is no point in only reducing greenhouse gas emissions at home, if we increase the import of CO2 from abroad,” Ms von der Leyen told delegates at Davos. “It is not only a climate issue; it is also an issue of fairness towards our businesses and our workers. We will protect them from unfair competition.” 

“If this turns into a global trend, we will have a global level playing field where no carbon border tax will be necessary,” said Ms von der Leyen. 

Speaking in Davos, Prince Charles, the heir to the UK throne, backed higher carbon taxes to “reverse perverse subsidies and improve incentives for sustainable alternatives”.

He said: “It is time to level the playing field and to think about how we properly deploy taxes, policies and regulations in a way that catalyses sustainable markets.”

“We simply cannot waste any more time,” he said. “The only limit is our willingness to act and the time to act is now.”

Read more: https://www.ft.com/content/c93694c8-3d15-11ea-a01a-bae547046735

Ursula von der Leyen is a deep green, who has advocated for a European version of the Green New Deal. Brexit leader Nigel Farage has accused Ursula of being a hardline communist. Farage was the only British political leader to throw his wholehearted support behind President Trump’s campaign in 2016, and shared the platform with President Trump during the campaign.

Before key Merkel ally Ursula von der Leyen parachuted to safety as the new head of the European Commission, effectively the EU’s central executive committee, she was struggling with answering difficult questions in Germany over the accidental wiping of mobile phone evidence relating to her alleged awarding of large defence contracts to external consultants without proper oversight.

168 thoughts on “EU Threatens China with Carbon Pricing Import Duties

  1. Just to get this straight: when President Trump slaps tariffs on China for its abuse he is a monster and trade warmonger. But when VDL does it and paints the carbon label on it its a force for good. Spot the difference. Everyone wants to reign China in, ad China needs some reigning in for sure. I just prefer the blunt, unmasked, unvarnished way of doing so and President Trump gets top marks from me on that. VDL just tries to put lipstick on a pig. She wants those tariffs in order to improve Europe’s position just as much as Trump wants to protect the US’s position. Just tell us the way it is – we can take it.

    • The big difference our “monster” stuck to his guns and is at least starting to get the US-China imbalance under control, the EU, mark my words, will fold like a cheap suit.

      • Actually the Phase I “trade deal” was just a face saving compromise for both sides to buy time. Drump needs a “victory” for re-election; while China needs more space to disengage from the US markets and supply chains. The EU can follow Leyden down the road to economic suicide… under Drump the US doesn’t have a plan to “de-carbonize” either. So whom will the EU trade with? Senegal and Costa Rica?

        • So the trade deals that Clinton, Bush and Obama made are better than the deal Trump made, oh yeah that’s right none of them made any deals other than Clinton who’s deal was China gets any tech they want and we get nothing. Trumps deal is not perfect but it does include intellectual property rights and it does attempt to make china re-balance the trade deficit. Might work might not but at least its a start.

          • I said nothing about past understandings the US had on trade… so please try and focus on the topic at hand; namely, the current Phase I trade deal and the evaluation that it is of little substance. The terms announced are all but impossible for China to comply with.

            And further, that under Leyen’s logic, the EU would have to add a carbon tax to trade with the US as well as China.

          • Posa is perfectly correct. Europe is the only fool on the block playing at “carbon pricing”. US is out , Indian and China were never in, Africa gets a free pass.

            So if EU wants “an even playing field” and want to stop penalising their own industries and destroying the jobs of their own populations, that is well within their power.

            JUST STOP DOING IT !

            You can’t do it alone and there is no way they will force the rest of the world to be as stupid as they are. The only question is how far are they going to continue with the self harm routine before they accept the inevitable.

          • Greg says “So if EU wants “an even playing field” and want to stop penalising their own industries and destroying the jobs of their own populations, that is well within their power.” Except if they slap a tax on US imports President Trump will slap a tax on EU imports. And I think I know who will hurt more in that situation.

          • I did not comment on past trade practices (there were no “trade deals” with China under previous Administrations, except for supporting China’s entry into the WTO)…

            My comment death with the present day Phase I deal that Drump “negotiated’ … no one realistically believes this agreement is serious or that China could possibly meet the negotiated terms…

            But feel free to explain to us how this happens.

        • the US doesn’t need a plan to decarbonize. It is happening naturally through market forces. Give capitalism a chance.

          • Where is there a “market force” to decarbonise? What is happening to lower US emissions is totally coincidental, not causal. There is no “market force” to decarbonise, neither should the be. It’s a politically contrived solution to a non existent problem.

          • Where is there a “market force” to decarbonise?

            Greg, …… haven’t you heard ……. about the shale NG explosion, horizontal drilling and fracking?

            Conversions and new NG fired electrical generators and the demise of the coal fired generators is a “market force” resulting in “decarbonizing”.

          • I believe Greg’s point is that the market forces in this instance are to use the cheapest fuel available, which in this case happens to be natural gas.
            The fact that this also results in “decarbonization” is an unintended side effect.

          • Greg is on the right track. The US has hardly renounced fossil fuels… some commentators think that natural gas is not a fossil fuel…

            And BTW… the US potential for fracking resources is probably only about a decade… then we’ll be right back to the pre-fracking era.

        • “posa January 24, 2020 at 9:38 am
          I said nothing about past understandings the US had on trade… so please try and focus on the topic at hand; ”

          You opened the door when you intimated that President Trump needs the China deal for his campaign.
          A baseless claim that ignores the dozens of President Trump achievements dating back to his first year.

          If, you are going to make claims; supply the linked evidence. Otherwise they are specious.

          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/year-one-list-81-major-trump-achievements-11-obama-legacy-items-repealed

          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/trumps-list-289-accomplishments-in-just-20-months-relentless-promise-keeping

          https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-shown-extraordinary-bipartisan-achievements-possible/

          https://www.newsmax.com/wayneallynroot/trump-white-house-hanukkah-party-israel/2019/12/20/id/946799/

          • These posts don’t address the Phase I deal and are just a list of dubious Drump “victories”. (I don’t vote and have no partisan electoral favorites.)

            On the Phase I deal an analysis of the terms is summed up as “impossible”

            “Therefore, it is only a matter of time before officials, markets and farmers all realize that the terms of Phase One are unreachable, and the US admin will have no choice but to resort to a new round of tariffs. Which explains the veiled threat from Wilbur Ross earlier today, who said that the US “could add” tariffs if China doesn’t uphold the trade deal.”

            Details here
            https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/why-phase-one-trade-deal-impossible-one-chart

            Now comment how China will buy 230 % more agricultural products. And a massive amount of commercial aircraft when the US doesn’t even have products on the market ( eg the doomed Boeing 737 MAX).

            Of course you can’t since you don’t even know the facts. But lots of hot air.

          • Posa January 25, 2020 at 10:25 am

            These posts don’t address the Phase I deal and are just a list of dubious Drump.

            Posa, everyone waits on you to personally address Donald J. Trump per “Drump”.

        • Posa. Read Trumps old “Art of the Deal” for better insight into Trump’s style. He’s timing the completion of the deal with China to be a booster in his re- election.

          He’s a shoo-in, of course, but he wants to shut democrats down for a couple of generations. A good time to make a killing in the forex market in early November selling EUR/USD positions.

          • Gary.. Yeah right. I forgot Drump is playing 11-D chess… the Phase I deal is just a face saving rope a dope for both sides. Nothing really changes after 18 months of a trade war with China

        • “the US doesn’t have a plan to “de-carbonize” either”

          But the US hasn’t been building hundreds of coal plants these last years.

          So there is that.

          Although at the rate of nuclear reactor closure, it might need some coal plants in the future, maybe even in crazy Calif.

          • With $2/mmbtu gas, coal usage is falling fast. 23-25% of US electricity from coal in 2019. At least so far, that looks like it could be below 20% in 2020.

            That might be below nuclear in 2020.

        • The EU doesn’t want to trade with the UK, it would seem. Soon after the Withdrawal Agreement was signed by the PM, the EU published a 91-page explainer, setting out how it should work in practice.

          Dr. North notes that it would not have helped that much if these details had been rehearsed during the general election campaign. With a terminally useless opposition, there was not much point in telling the nation that the Agreement was crock, when there was nothing else on the table worth voting for. http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=87497

          To that extent, it was a Hobson’s choice election, but now comes the dawning realisation that we are lumbered with an almost impossible system for Northern Ireland.

          A reunited Ireland would solve that conundrum.

      • The trade deficit is how the US pays for the budget deficit.
        As long as there is a budget deficit in Washington, the US as a whole will have a trade deficit.

        • Mark

          Please explain. not something I have ever connected the dots on. I don’t see of the top how one pays for the other.

          • The argument is that the dollars China accumulates from its trade surpluses with the United States come back here as capital that is invested. While purchasing treasury notes and the like that finance our deficit (which is primarily how China spends its dollars) is not, strictly speaking, capital investment, the argument is that such purchases free up domestic capital for productive investments that create jobs. To complete the argument, the claim is China is needed to finance our national debt at low interest rates and, by implication, that capital inflows from foreign nations to here using dollars from our trade deficits increase investment (a component of GDP) here thus cancelling out the GDP loss from the extra sales we have foregone through our trade deficit.

            That is the argument. A specious one I might add, about as reliable as the French alarmists’ model proving 8°C global warming by 2100. The argument is well financed by special interests and thus dominates the pundits’ narrative.

          • Basically China receives dollars when it sells us stuff.
            Now China has three choices as to what to do with those dollars
            1) Stuff em into mattresses
            2) Buy stuff from us
            3) Buy T-bills from us

            At present, T-bills are the best deal.
            Eliminate the budget deficit, and T-bills gets taken off the menu.

          • I’m more persuaded that the US can continue to effectively print Dollars via monetizing the budget deficit for a long time yet. The problem for China (and others in a similar situation like Japan) is that if they want to ditch all the Dollars they accumulate, where can they go? There is no other currency of similar size and political/economic stability. The Euro is primarily propped up by the German economy which is still a lot smaller than the Dollar economy.

          • I’m sure some will claim that China could use those dollars to buy stuff from other countries, and while that is true, it also doesn’t matter.
            All that transferring those dollars to some other country does is present that other country with the same set of options.
            Meanwhile, the larger the amount of dollars that collect over seas, the less those dollars are worth.
            This makes it less expensive for other countries to buy stuff from us, and more expensive for us to buy stuff from them.

          • “MarkW January 24, 2020 at 11:34 am
            Basically China receives dollars…”

            Not since President Trump took office; and likely starting back when Bush was President.

            China has been buying influence around the world with those dollars.
            China offers loans for construction and is funding installations and bases that they hope to get to upgrade to military bases in multiple countries.

            China has also been using those dollars to bring Chinese into civilization; not always wisely.
            Which is the reason China has been dumping both products and raw materials on the USA and a number of other countries.
            That dumping has driven many companies to either relocate to China or go out of business.

            China gains both industry and intellectual property as they require companies to turn over intellectual property for processes moved to China.

            What China also gains is productive employment for their citizens. Employed citizens are able to pay for products manufactured in China. Which also drives up the need for electricity, digital information and better housing.

            A huge problem is that China is unable to thrive without America and the rest of the world buying their cheap products.
            China was so desperate to maintain this product flow from China that China paid the tariffs. Prices of imports from China by and large did not change in price; or at least the price China charged did not increase.
            A process common to socialist governments known as ‘subsidizing’.

            China also needs the cash inflow to allow them to purchase foodstuffs. A major reason for this recent return of China to the negotiating table is their need for food. Large American farm groups are already benefiting.

            No-one believes China capitulated. This is just one of multiple steps to trading with China.
            I don’t believe EU is prepared to fully negotiate with China. Bob Boder’s observation that EU will roll over is a strong likelihood.

            Not that EU has any real idea of what exactly is happening in China anyway. China’s central government can simply tell the EU their internal carbon market works perfectly. Just like China’s climate diplomats, they’ll fail to inform on China’s actual internals.

          • China needs dollars and treasuries to purchase raw materials and control the value of their currency and maintain their export market. I don’t agree that our trade deficit is tied to our national debt.
            For years we have heard that China would stop buying our debt and This is why would couldn’t get into a trade war with China. The truth is China’s economy is totally tied to the US and they need us way more than we need them.

          • “China was so desperate to maintain this product flow from China that China paid the tariffs. Prices of imports from China by and large did not change in price; or at least the price China charged did not increase.
            A process common to socialist governments known as ‘subsidizing’.”

            huh?
            The tariffs are paid by the US customer to US customs.

          • huh?
            The tariffs are paid by the US customer to US customs.

            “DUH”, …. shur nuff, the tariffs levied against China are paid by the US customers, ….. but the increased cost of those goods forces US customers to purchase fewer/lesser of them, …… thus forcing Chinese manufacturers to produce fewer items or reduce their wholesale costs. And the Chin economy suffers.

          • The Treasuries and Dollars aren’t equivalent, they have the opposite affects.
            When the Chinese sell us stuff, they get dollars. When they buy Treasuries, the give us dollars.
            If they don’t do something with the dollars they get from selling us stuff, the value of those dollars will sink and the value of their currency rises. They prevent that from happening by buying Treasuries. If there was no debt, they only way to dump dollars would be to buy stuff from us.

          • SCC, so both US and Chinese citizen’s suffer from US tariffs. As you mention, the US consumers are having to pay more for the stuff they want.

          • When the Chinese sell us stuff, they get dollars. When they buy Treasuries, the give us dollars.

            If there was no debt, they only way to dump dollars would be to buy stuff from us.

            Mark, don’t be fergettin that ………

            how many countries trade in dollars

            That includes seven countries that have adopted the U.S. dollar as their own. Another 89 countries keep their currency in a tight trading range relative to the dollar. In the foreign exchange market, the dollar rules. Around 90% of forex trading involves the U.S. dollar.

        • Here is my refutation of the proposition that domestic capital inflows finance productive investment that offsets the GDP loss arising from our chronic trade deficits.

          First, a little background. Economists (I am not one) refer to the aggregate, i.e., worldwide trade surpluses/deficits of a nation as that nation’s current account. Similarly, a nation’s aggregate inflow/ outflow of capital is its capital account. The current account by definition matches the capital account, so that our $500+ billion current account annual deficit is matched by $500+ billion capital inflows.

          China, which has run trade surpluses over $300 billion annually with the US for many years, had for much of that time amassed currency reserves including $2 trillion or so in US dollars, mostly invested in US treasuries.

          In 2014/2015 China experienced a massive drain of its reserves. Companies and rich individuals figured out how to circumvent China’s strict capital controls, thereby succeeding in converting yuan into dollars and moving it out of the country. The capital loss over that year to the Chinese government was on the order of $500 billion, requiring it to sell off US treasuries in that approximate amount. One would think such a large selloff would have devalued the notes and thus driven up interest rates. However, that year the interest rates on US treasuries fell significantly, not rose.

          Now let’s go to the year 2018. China had a $300 billion trade surplus that year with the US, but it ran trade deficits with many other nations so that its current account was only a measly $20 billion or so. So all those extra dollars were financing China’s imports from other nations, not buying US treasuries. Yet this depressed demand for US treasuries had no appreciable effect on interest rates or marketability.

          If one were to look at the US economy of the 1960s, say, one would see that corporations overall earned profits in the 8-10% range. Nowadays, that figure is on the order of a whopping 15%, maybe more. What that means is that the United States is awash in capital. There are trillions on the books of corporate America including its banks and insurance companies. Yet only a fraction of that is invested in a productive capacity, i.e., to build new or larger factories, expand production, create new and valuable IP, etc.

          What to do with that extra money? We have seen a surge in share buybacks. Demand for treasuries is high. In particular we see asset bubbles, including the stock market and both commercial and residential real estate.

          The bottom line is there is no shortage of capital in the US economy and it is not dependent on the $500 billion/year capital inflows on our capital account. In contrast, if our current account were close to zero, that extra $500 billion/yr of foreign purchases of US goods and services would mean millions of additional good paying jobs here in the US and all the good things that flow from that.

          • …….. foreign purchases of US goods and services would mean millions of additional good paying jobs here in the US and all the good things that flow from that.

            ”YUP”, …… and it has only taken President Trump 3 years to accomplish, …….. accomplish what the Democrats and Rhinos have adamantly refused to do during the past 50 years.

            A vote for Trump for POTUS 2020 …. is a vote for 4 more years of the same.

      • China, seeing that the EU is actively trying to lower it’s own standard of living to become a “sustainable” entity is going to recognize that free access to the EU market is not worth the cost of harming themselves. The only thing that can happen is a toothless agreement and the EU acting like they got something.

        • China should immediately reduce production to meet it’s own internal needs and let the EU go fish for the goods it needs elsewhere or force them to produce ALL EU material needs internally.
          Let the EU begin to realize how important/necessary a Global Trading scheme really is, AND how expensive Carbon Initiatives cause goods to become.
          .
          AND I also agree that the rules should apply equally across the board, If one country is REQUIRED to make their economy less CO2 intensive (WHY???) then ALL countries should be required to reduce equally

    • Mr. Huber,.. I believe that you may be on to a thread of truth here.
      From what I’ve been learning and observing about the actual health of the EU,Ursula von der Leyen is in a state of all out panic. The central bank is having the curtain pulled back on its’ actual activities in countries all over the world. Eventually people will start to notice just how revealing her threat really is.
      Her act is more of a screw-up born of projection than a threat to China. The EU depends on trade with China to enact their money laundering schemes. She represents those who have been addicted to having power over people for many centuries.
      All I can say is watch carefully and enjoy the show because the heat is only beginning to turn up on these players and most will not be able to pay the price once they become visible to the people in all the countries of the world.

    • I think the word you are looking for is rein, not reign. But reign could be tongue in cheek appropriate here.

    • Attn:
      Ursula Von Der Leyen,
      Elizabeth Warren,
      Climate Barbie,
      Hillary Clinton,
      Angela Merkel and
      All crazy old bats who blame hot flashes on Global Warming

      Dear Madames:

      “The full IPCC report is an admirable description of research activities in climate science, but it is not specifically directed at policy. The Summary for Policymakers is, but it is also a very different document. It represents a consensus of government representatives (many of whom are also their nations’ Kyoto representatives), rather than of scientists. The resulting document has a strong tendency to disguise uncertainty, and conjures up some scary scenarios for which there is no evidence.

      Science, in the public arena, is commonly used as a source of authority with which to bludgeon political opponents and propagandize uninformed citizens. This is what has been done with both the reports of the IPCC and the NAS. It is a reprehensible practice that corrodes our ability to make rational decisions. A fairer view of the science will show that there is still a vast amount of uncertainty — far more than advocates of Kyoto would like to acknowledge…”

      Excerpted from:
      “Scientists’ Report Doesn’t Support the Kyoto Treaty”
      By Dr Richard S. Lindzen, Sloan Professor of Meteorology (retired), MIT
      Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2001
      http://eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/OpEds/LindzenWSJ.pdf

      We, the undersigned, would sincerely appreciate if you would concern yourself with real societal problems, both domestic and international, and not squander our wealth and destroy our freedoms based on fantasies about “scary scenarios for which there is no evidence… … It is a reprehensible practice that corrodes our ability to make rational decisions.”

      Yours sincerely,
      “Old White Men” 🙂

      • Yours sincerely, “Old White Men” –> Yours sincerely, “Old White Men” to Madams’ls of all colours, ages and genders.

  2. Finally the real reason for Europe’s enthusiasm for climate change, another weapon in its trade protectionism.

    • Oh please EU do it … then the fun really begins.

      There is shooting yourself in the foot and then there is blowing off your whole leg 🙂

    • What choice do they have between circling the drain on economic competitiveness and the Brexit Buccaneers darkening their door? Besides, with the coming de-industrialization of Europe, there won’t be much market for imports beyond food aid.

      • They will have some high pay jobs involved in the dangerous work of repair or decommissioning of wind turbines and replacement and disposal of old rooftop solar panels from the higher cost, early adopter days of the solar industry.

  3. She has no real authority, she is unelected, undemocratic, & worst of all, unsackable, just like the rest of the European Commission’s fatherless membership! In charge of everything, responsible for absolutely nothing!

    • Umm, most of the EU is unelected. That’s why we got Brexit. They we’re tired of being ruled by unelected. And here in the USA, the unelected are the most powerful and dangerous. The EPA, Supreme Court, and IRS…

      • Yes, but only one of those (The Supreme Court) is mandated by the Constitution, the others can by abolished or changed at the will of the elected.

      • Correction, ALL of the EU & its institutions are unelected! They are the epitome of Orwellian totalitarianism, with all of the hallmarks of democracy, elected MEPs, who meet in the European Parliament, a mere talking shop that has no power other than to cede more individual member state powers to the Commission, who makes ALL EU laws. As said, it’s in charge of everything yet responsible for absolutely nothing! Which EU Commissioner in charge of Food Safety & Standards, got sacked over the horse-meat scandal, which was the result of corruption from the very bottom to the very top of the EU Commission, & worse still, which Commissioner got the boot over the breast implant scandal where cheap industrial grade silicon was substituted for expensive medical grade silicon, with most end-users being those unfortunate women who had suffered from breast cancer & undergone major corrective surgery? Answer? None, nobody, zilch, diddly squat! The EU truly is the most corrupt organisation I’ve ever known, knocks the Mafia into a cocked hat by comparison!

        • Alan the Brit: that’s drivel.
          The European Commission is the EU civil service. It prepares legislation. The laws are actually approved for implementation by the Council of Ministers, made up of representatives from the elected governments of the member countries.
          The breast-implant affair was caused by a French company, PIP. The regulatory regime that they ignored was the applicable local French legislation. The EU Commission only became involved later, when they introduced EU-wide legislation – the Medical Devices Directive – to prevent anything like this ever happening again.
          Similarly horse-meat. Companies in several countries collaborated to relabel rotten and cheap meat, and get round EU food regulations. The EU Commission was criticised for allowing inspection regimes to get lax – but never corruption.
          Your post is unfortunately typical of much British discussion about the EU – long on opinion and hot air, but short on facts.

          • The European Council consists of the leaders of the 28 – or 27 come next Friday at midnight Brussels time – members of the European Union. This is clearer than saying they are ‘representatives’ given that they are very specific people who may or may not have been suitably elected to those posts. Consider that the British Prime Minister is not voted into office by the electorate which is one of the defects of our system.

            The horse meat scandal was not to ‘get round EU food regulations’ it was to break them by supplying false paperwork. What this highlighted was the workings of the Common Regulatory Area where documentation from country is taken as proof in another – at least at state level which is why the then sensible minister Owen Patterson was often pointing out that the UK government had no power to act. The companies receiving the meat had every right to check it if they wanted to but assumed the paperwork to be correct.

        • Bob Turner January 24, 2020 at 1:22 pm

          Alan the Brit: that’s drivel.

          The European Commission is the EU civil service. It prepares legislation.

          ____________________________________

          The EU is illegitimate insofar as the EU has NO applicable CONSTITUTION.

          Because of the irreparable failure to give every EU member, including members still to come,

          the veto rights, the EU is nothing but a lame duck depending on the lawn care worker.

          Once ALL the EU authorities conferenced a whole year, formulating an EU Constitution comprising 1,000 pages. That 4 EU members rates VETOED.

          While working on that “constitution” the people of the EU asked “what are you doing, will that represent our will”.

          The repeated answer was wait and see, you get informed in time.

          The truth is: no one had the comprehension over every paragraph of a “Constitution” spilled over 1,000 pages.

          Till today no one has the comprehension over every paragraph of a “VETOED Constitution” spilled over 1,000 pages.

          After that whole ONE YEAR, without a workable constitution, said authorities
          sat together ANOTHER YEAR in sunny Paris or wherever on an amendment to the failed Constitution: comprising a “discussion of values”, spilled over another 1,000 pages.

          Rotten, decayed, useless, ruinous.

    • She has no real authority, she is unelected, undemocratic, & worst of all, unsackable, just like the rest of the European Commission’s fatherless membership! –> She has no real authority, she is unelected, undemocratic, & worst of all, unsagbar unsackable, just like the rest of the European Commission’s fatherless membership!

  4. Being member of the CDU, Christ Democratic Union, she’s greener than any Green of the Green Party.
    As former minister of defense, she led the German army to a status of Muppet Show, helicopter unable to fly because of defects, helicopter for the navy prohibited to fly over sea becaquse of rust danger etc etc…
    Always the “best” politicans are delegated to European Commission 😀

    • Indeed. They slap a carbon tariff on China, and China will retaliate with tariff’s of it’s own, just as it did with the US. However, the China-EU trade balance is closer then the China-US balance, meaning China will have a little bit more leverage in such a trade war than it did with the US. Further, such a trade war breaking out between China-EU will help encourage China to strike a deal with the US sooner. So go for it EU, Trump thanks you.

        • Krishna, I think that here in Australia all of our solar panels come from China. We certainly don’t manufacture them. Do they pay a penalty for the CO2 created in their manufacture and transport? Or do we pay because we purchased products that created the CO2.

          And in regard to Australia selling coal to China, are we responsible for the CO2 created by burning our coal for power stations when the Chinese manufacture our solar panels? The greens tell us the solar panels are clean and green so shouldn’t our coal CO2 be offset by the greeness 🙂

  5. The EU is hell bent on economic destruction. Their ridiculous ongoing policy of destroying domestic jobs, by making energy costs uneconomic, when compared with world wide price averages, is starting to come home to them. They are looking at the only option available that will ensure they are able to sustain any domestic manufacturing industries within the EU. The down side for the EU, is other nations can also impose a levy and penalise the EU nations. These blinkered Luddites that make up the EU Commission need to get out of their ivory towers and experience what real life is like.
    Is it any wonder, the UK is desperate to rid itself of the EU and all of its business destroying practices?

    • The MSM isn’t covering it…but last night 10 cities in France were overrun by Yellow Jacjet wearing protesters.

    • Rod

      Boris signed the Brexit deal today which has already received royal assent so that means that we actually cease to be a member of this madhouse on the 30th January.

      tonyb

  6. Wait, wait, wait. The Paris Climate agreement that everyone in the EU hailed as nothing less than amazing isn’t enough? China’s pledge was to “continue to exponentially increase CO2 emissions until 2030. Now you don’t like this?

    • The Chinese should just mail the EU various media articles proclaiming that China is leading the way in the climate revolution.

  7. Let me see if I understand this: a dingbat tells China “big fat tax on you unless you do as I say!”

    Yeah, that really works!

    Moving on….. 🙂

    • XI is a caring understanding guy 🙂

      Yeah you don’t have to be a genius to work out that was a train wreck of a thought bubble that only ends one way.

  8. Good for Europe. Tariffs really are just another tax for Europeans to pay. How much in personal taxes can they really afford to pay before their entire standard of living goes down the commode? I assume since the VAT is a percentage of the sales price, an increase in the cost of the import will be multiplied even more.

  9. China has to pay the tariffs…OR… appear to have a “carbon tax”. They cannot stop economic development and that requires energy. And for the foreseeable future that means coal. Hundreds of plants per decade.

    They will probably “appear” to have a tax. The EU will take that subterfuge…because this is only cover for China. It’s not really going to reduce emissions.

    Then the Globalist Socialists will fawn all over the Chinese for “doing their part” while actually doing WAY less than nothing.

    • Well the really big companies are pseudo government entities who now have owned German companies so you just make book entries and there you go tax applied.

    • mebbe they can just say they are doing mitigation rather than creating a fake tax.

      “… we have a program of mitigating our impact by the reducing the carbon footprint of millions of Uyghurs & Tibetans (if you work with us, or just give us free reign, we will eliminate their footprint altogether).

      As a tentative proposal, for every $1,000 in tariff waiver we will eliminate the equivalent of of one individual’s carbon footprint. (note that we expect this mitigation proposal to be accepted as retroactive from the time that we began our mitigation program)”

  10. Dear Ursula von der Leyen,
    there is a much more sensible action to promote if you actually want to decrease CO2 emissions :
    – just ban any CO2 taxes in Europe.

    Indeed, this will contribute to the industry relocation in Europe and the effect will be (apart being beneficial for employment and prosperity, goals I understand you couldn’t care less) to reduce the CO2 emissions caused by transportation of goods producted in China.

    Sincerely,
    PB

    • Not so sure container transport add very CO₂ the product. I do not have any numbers, but logically I think bulk transportation pay little role to product price and CO₂.

      • I read somewhere that transportation add some 2% to CO2 emissions, but I hope Ursula VDL doesn’t know this. 🙂

  11. Since given their own Eco-Nazi policies will prevent them from being able to produce anything they need in the EU, this will simply increase the price of everything they need when they import it from productive countries that aren’t committing economic suicide.

    Assuming, of course, that they even have any “currency” such productive countries will accept in return for such goods, after they have launched six torpedoes into the side of their own economies.

    • Bingo … you got it in one. Then the have the conduit thru Chinese State controlled companies that own companies in Germany. This only ends in tears for EU on top of the trying to shutdown all coal plants by 2038.

  12. Curious that they are targeting China rather than directly targeting the US since we don’t have a carbon tax either.

    • LOL. Target America, we buy too much from Europe. A reciprocal tariff would devastate them. I can just imagine Trump announcing a tariff on goods from countries with insane environmental policies. It would double the cost of their insanity.

        • Tom, the electricity prices alone here in Australia are having their businesses close up shop and move to America.

          • I know it, Megs.

            Trump said the other day that 25 percent of investments taking place in the world were taking place in the United States.

            Australia’s politicians need to face reality. If they stopped burning all fossil fuels tomorrow, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference as far as CO2 levels in the atmosphere are concerned.

            They should forget the windmills and solar farms and develop Australia’s fossil fuel resources which will have a similar effect in Australia as doing so has in the U.S.

            If the Australian politicians cut taxes and regulations, too, they would be on the road to success.

            Unfortunately, their minds are clouded by visions of CO2 catastrophy, so they can’t see the solution to their problems even though they are right in front of them, and Trump is showing them
            the way.

            They have been successfully brainwashed into taking actions that are counterproductive to Australia.

    • It is my understanding that Russia doesn’t have a carbon tax either. I can’t wait to see them put a tariff on all that Russia natural gas they are importing.

    • Not really that curious since so many goods that are sold in Europe are manufactured in China because it is cheap. As the EU, and the UK even when free, are making it increasingly expensive to manufacture goods it is obvious more will offshore. Even the numbskull politicians in the UK have realised that if production just moves elsewhere it just offshores the CO2 emissions. If cheap goods are not imported to the EU then the whole dynamic changes.

    • In point of face, the EU’s current leadership established this “carbon tax” trade standard as the EU’s default trade policy for all future trade agreements. It’s just that this particular article does not mention it. So, in theory, the policy will apply to any future U.S. trade deals as well.

      That said, the “fun” begins when the U.S., UK, and China simply say…. Nope not happening… as the EU has no leverage over the counter parties.

      • As someone else said, protectionism under any other name is still protectionism. Now that the Brits are pulling out I don’t see the EU holding together much longer.

    • We may not have a carbon tax, but the US is aggressively decarbonizing.

      The last US blast furnace for steel production was built in 1964! We still make steel, but 70% of US produced steel comes from an electric arc furnace. Only 30% from coal.

      US Electricity for 2020 will only be about 20% from coal in 2020.

      China is 90% steel production from coal burning blast furnaces and over 60% of electricity from coal burning power plants.

      • Electric arc furnaces rely mostly on recycled iron and steel for their product. For ‘virgin’ steel you still need coal in the form of coke to provide the necessary amount of carbon to transform the iron into steel. The longer a civilization has steel the more they can rely on recycled steel.

      • Trump isn’t a socialist, so he’s not a fascist. Fascism grew out of the left-wing socialist movement of the early 20th century. Every single Fascist leader of the WWII era came from parties and/or organizations that started under the socialist banner.

        • Correct.
          Sadly so many does not bother to lookup the different versions and grades of socialism. As I understand it, fascism is a socialism where production is lead and run by the government versus nation socialism where production is still in private hands, but lead by the government.

        • It was sarcasm, fellas chill. i know full well that that Fascism and Communism both grow out of the socialist tree. One of my great joys is showing young people how there great antifa movement is exactly the same as the Nazi brown shirts

  13. Tariffs, import duties, taxes, foreign aid, etc.

    It’s all about blackmail, extortion, quid prop quo manipulation and control.

  14. Tariffs, import duties, taxes, foreign aid, etc.

    It’s all about blackmail, extortion, quid prop quo manipulation and control.

  15. The EU is going to disover that they will have no one to trade with and they will have to eat their lunch all by themselves.

  16. EU Threatens China.

    Maybe they should read the UNFCCC first. China is a Non Annex country and as such has no emission reduction obligation. Climate Action is turning into a comical drama.

  17. The very same lady signed the EU death warrant today, The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. We leave a week today with 11 months transition period. They will miss our £11BN Annual contribution to their financial blackhole to fund EU vanity projects. Others will follow us over the next few years.

  18. And the Chinese are stupid? Nope. I’m sure the denizens of the EU will enjoy more taxes. At least this time they won’t directly see them.

  19. If the release of CO2 into the atmosphere really is a danger, then demanding China and India implement reductions in their own output of this gas is essential, we either all do it or it is not going to do any good. However this aim remains subject to the clear doubt that a single trace gas somehow magically controls the earth’s climate. Yes, it is an influence, but how much remains uncertain. Instead the decision by the EU to consider imposing penalties seems more about the economic threats China poses to Europe’s economy. I think they will find that China is not concerned, they have all they wanted from the west in terms of technological and economic aid, they are now spreading out into the world and succeeding in gaining access to whatever they need by bribery and other forms of persuasion. Europe has weakened itself through its disastrous migrant policies, becoming now vulnerable to internal social breakdown, the economy will be the least of its problems in the coming years.

  20. I was thinking about this the other day after buying some furniture. I found that the wood came from France or the USA, it was shipped to China for the furniture to be made, and then shipped to the UK to be sold. There you see the ridiculous aspect of globalisation, and the way in which it destroys home industries while causing pollution. No need to make China impose a carbon tax, even if you could. Just apply a mileage tax, I suggest.

  21. So the European Commission President has a brain that allows her to believe a previously undeveloped and now rapidly developing nation that has acquired new wealth, a better standard of living and and a much healthier and longer lived population is going to be willing to join her on the road to economic suicide because the EU says so. I thought hallucinogens had become passé but not apparently in the halls of the highly undemocratic apparatus of the EU. Somehow it makes sense to EU bureaucrats to ask people who are just solving must of life’s major challenges to return to poverty, privation and pain, just so the EU misfits can go to lovely soft beds feeling good about saving the world from a fraction of a degree of global warming. And this they do without a hint of guilt or empathy for those they will harm.

  22. First there was the VAT tax and various rate increases to the breaking point then along came the innovation of climate emergency to tax the US eCommerce giants, China imports, and all flights coming into fortress Europe. The new Iron Curtain is spun with gold and run by EU committees.

  23. I have a solution to the EU China trade issue: Remove all carbon taxis and don’t build more Green industrial destruction in the EU. It will at least help on the trade deficit.
    Maybe Trump could give private lessons to von der Leyen for a small fee 🙂

  24. Frau von der Leyen is no stranger to controversy. She was accused of plagiarism in her PhD, and whilst a university commission confirmed that she had failed to properly cite the sources for much of the material in her dissertation, it determined that the omissions weren’t intentional and didn’t undermine her central thesis.
    Hmmm. Politics, anyone?
    She presided over the decay of the German military whilst a minister,
    and then gets ‘appointed’ to be President of the EU Commission.
    So, a failed minister with a penchant for cut-n-paste, gets to be the most powerful official in the EU, and starts making demands of China.
    On whose behalf? Did anyone vote for such a policy? Thought not.
    Boy, am I glad we’re leaving the EU.
    The eco-farcists really do want to control the whole world.

    • Don’t be blindsided.
      VDL has the EU Defense Union on full steam ahead, and London has opted in. Brexit changes nothing of that.
      British defense has been, just like Germany, hollowed out, preparing the way for Brussels procurement, and chain of command.

      Now notice NATO’s Operation Defender-Europe 2020 . Forces including Germany will operate along the Russian Border, and that during the 75th WWII ceremonies. NATO and the EU Defrnse Union claim parallel tracks, so what is going on? Has BoJo betrayed Britain?

      Instead of this obvious Great Game, of Mackinder folly, the Belt and Road Initiative is essential.
      One can see VDL’s London School of Economics (her Alma Mater) greenwashing.

      VDL could become a huge liability….

  25. When carbon tax came up in Washington/US, a’Blue’ state, it was voted down. Even California can’t get a carbon tax initiated. That lets you know what the people really think about AGW despite the media hype.

    • Well… California does have a carbon tax…. 60 cents a gallon on gasoline assessed at the refiner level… so they get to charge sales tax on the 60cents at the pump as well… and it all gets blamed on the evil gas companies.

  26. This was was our concern for years. As the EU went down the rabbit hole of economically destructive green policies it would have to export them. In this case China the USA and India should stand together. It’s not our preference but the EU will eventually be treated like The USSR and Mayos China. Very limited trade by design.

    The US cannot allow the failed policies of the EU to be forced on us.

  27. Exactly how is this different from a tariff? Inquiring minds want to know!

    [Um…didn’t you know, all the kewl kids say “Asking for a friend.” “Inquiring minds want to know” is so boomer. 🙂 -mod]

  28. I know it is old and tired, but…

    “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

  29. A few years ago the EU also threatened international airlines with a carbon tax on their fuel. China said they wouldn’t pay and ordered Chinese carriers to not pay. The EU quickly backtracked and scrapped it.

    I expect many extraterritorial type actions like this would not get very far when brought before the WTO which carries rather more weight than all the silliness agreed in Paris. After all, didn’t that agreement end in China “agreeing” to continue raising emissions until 2030 or whenever they feel like stopping, which ever one comes last?

    This seems like another EU bureaucrat trying it on. They periodically run a ridiculous idea up the flagpole and see if anybody salutes it. I think that’s how they justify the existence of their job.

  30. So Meghan’s brother in law, a prince, the very embodiment of the term elitist, The man who will be King, says:
    ““We simply cannot waste any more time,” in doing what? Why raising taxes of course.

    Something he never has to worry about paying is something we all have to do without one clear plan on how raising taxes will enable the governments of the world to control the climate which varies natuarlly.

    Prince Pookie, I mean Chuckie also said: “It is time to level the playing field…” Do you think he means that he is going to lower the Royals to our level? Nah me neither. So what exactly is he leveling and how does he intend to sacrifice so that the rest of us will know that he is a team player?

    F me the hypocrisy of these people is absolutely staggering.

  31. Its a virtue signalling smoke screen.

    With the USA and China maybe coming to some agreement over trade, the EU has to do something or be overwhelmed by Chinese goods that may seek better terms than those that the US/China deal turns out to impose.

    Trouble is, Consumers, whatever their location like cheap toys, so rather than risk the ire of their folk, or to sweeten the pill, the EU is trying to clad trade protection with the mantle of saving the planet.

  32. So how is Saint Ursula or anyone else in the EU going to figure out how much CO2 emissions went into the manufacture of a sweater or iPhone Made in China (or anywhere else)?

    The European Union doesn’t have much reserves of coal or oil, so they’re just jealous of countries who do…

    Ready, Aim at foot, Fire!

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the UK is probably wondering why he needs to wait another week to leave the EU! Can’t get out fast enough!

    If Prince Charles is on board with this, maybe that’s why Harry wants to run away to Canada with his American bride! But Charles probably won’t have much influence over Boris Johnson and Parliament…

  33. So not going to happen.

    One phone call from that nice Mr Xi to his friend Vladimir and the EU electricity grid falls over. Natural gas taps can be turned off amazingly quickly.

  34. Well it’s a logical development; except the EU nations I believe allowed China its free pass. But it’s the EU, proving it to be deceptive and villainous, just as the Brits experienced and now have liberated themselves from.

  35. This tax concept fails the economics 101 sniff test.

    Countries with a CO2 tax will pass on the higher price as part of their exported product. Countries without a CO2 tax get the EU adding it on their side. Will this really make a difference ?

    Of course the end result of this tax will be higher prices for EU consumers and this will lead to more inflation and reduced economic growth. In the case of the EU, they already have zero GDP growth and this regressive measure will only further damage their fragile economies. These people really have no idea about economic management. If they took note of Trump’s high USA growth strategy they might learn a few tricks, but alas ideology is a curse that blinds people from reality.

  36. Europeans Pooh poohed Reagan at his first G7. Thatcher of course being the happy exception. Mitterrand was particularly harsh in assessment of the Hollywood dope. 3 years later the same jackwads were telling their people they needed to reform their economies to be more like America. We went from strength to strength. I am an immigrant from Germany. We had a cold water government flat. The trailer in Texas was like a palace to Me and my brothers. Why would we follow these folks.

  37. Didn’t read all the comments so I hope I’m not repeating: How stupid is their EU person? They are asking a communist government to tax their businesses with a carbon tax. WTH? Either they will produce fake numbers to show what they are doing or they will charge the tax and give it back under the table. This stupid person is asking the Chinese govt to tax themselves!!! She level of stupidity doesn’t surprise me but it does sadden me. The EU is done.

    • Jack,
      If you were looking for “stupid” then the EU Commission is the place to find it.
      Take fishing as a prime example.. The waters around the UK particularly the North Sea were teaming with fish in 1973 when the UK, which owns most of the Territorial fishing waters containing the fish, handed without payment or thank you the rights to fish UK waters to the EEC/EU as part of membership terms.
      During the following years, the waters that were previously policed by the UK Navy were a free for al. Vast Trawlers were introduced to take the fish from Spain and Holland. The UKs small fishing vessels that maintained an environmental balance with the sea they fished, were scrapped and the industry of fishing disappeared from the UK.
      The lunacy didn’t stop there. When it became obvious an ecologic disaster was unfolding in the North Sea, measures controlling fishing particularly Cod fish were introduced. This involved not being allowed to land fish that wee on the control program and limiting the days a vessel could fish. The result was even bigger Trawlers and the controlled catch species were simply dumped at sea…. wasted!! The EU has no idea how to control anything, other than how to control peoples’ freedom to do the right things, in the right way.

  38. So maybe the true CO2 cost of the solar panels will be shown in the tariff pricing of those coal-fired photovoltaics. Heh, can’t wait to see how they pull this off!

  39. It is not only a climate issue; it is also an issue of fairness towards our businesses and our workers. We will protect them from unfair competition.

    I thought green energy was cheaper? So how then could China have an “unfair” advantage if they are relying heavily on fossil fuel energy?

  40. But… but…. I keep hearing from all the Progressive that Green energy is so much cheaper than fossil fuel energy. Geez… China should already be at a really huge disadvantage using hideously more expensive fossil fuels for the very energy intensive industry of manufacturing. Why do they need a CO2 tax? All of the fossil fuel reliant companies will soon be bankrupt anyways… no??

  41. “Before key Merkel ally Ursula von der Leyen parachuted to safety as the new head of the European Commission, effectively the EU’s central executive committee, she was struggling with answering difficult questions in Germany over the accidental wiping of mobile phone evidence relating to her alleged awarding of large defence contracts to external consultants without proper oversight.”

    ____________________________________

    German defense minister von der Leyen ordered, without cost consulting, the repair of the german sailing cadetship Gorch Fock:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=repair+costs+for+German+cadetship+gorch+fock&oq=repair+costs+for+German+cadetship+gorch+fock&aqs=chrome.

    Says it all:

    https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-huawei&sxsrf=ACYBGNRqwDZJu8VW_kn2aQ0Do48KY9DS_Q:1580877049625&q=woman+cadet+died+on+sailing+cadet+ship+Gorch+fock&spell=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjJvuf3ybnnAhUjiIsKHcVwAeEQBSgAegQICxAC&biw=360&bih=518&dpr=3

  42. “Before key Merkel ally Ursula von der Leyen parachuted to safety as the new head of the European Commission, effectively the EU’s central executive committee, she was struggling with answering difficult questions in Germany over the accidental wiping of mobile phone evidence relating to her alleged awarding of large defence contracts to external consultants without proper oversight.”

    ____________________________________

    German defense minister von der Leyen ordered, without cost consulting, the repair of the german sailing cadetship Gorch Fock:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=repair+costs+for+German+cadetship+gorch+fock&oq=repair+costs+for+German+cadetship+gorch+fock&aqs=chrome.

    Says it all:

    https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-huawei&sxsrf=ACYBGNRqwDZJu8VW_kn2aQ0Do48KY9DS_Q:1580877049625&q=woman+cadet+died+on+sailing+cadet+ship+Gorch+fock&spell=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjJvuf3ybnnAhUjiIsKHcVwAeEQBSgAegQICxAC&biw=360&bih=518&dpr=3

    ____________________________________

    Incomprehensible why such people want to give advice to others.

  43. Corrected 4 EU members rates VETOED –> 4 EU members STATES VETOED

    ____________________________________

    Bob Turner January 24, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Alan the Brit: that’s drivel.

    The European Commission is the EU civil service. It prepares legislation.

    ____________________________________

    The EU is illegitimate insofar as the EU has NO applicable CONSTITUTION.

    Because of the irreparable failure to give every EU member, including members still to come,

    the veto rights, the EU is nothing but a lame duck depending on the lawn care worker.

    Once ALL the EU authorities conferenced a whole year, formulating an EU Constitution comprising 1,000 pages. That 4 EU members states VETOED.

    While working on that “constitution” the people of the EU asked “what are you doing, will that represent our will”.

    The repeated answer was wait and see, you get informed in time.

    The truth is: no one had the comprehension over every paragraph of a “Constitution” spilled over 1,000 pages.

    Till today no one has the comprehension over every paragraph of a “VETOED Constitution” spilled over 1,000 pages.

    After that whole ONE YEAR, without a workable constitution, said authorities
    sat together ANOTHER YEAR in sunny Paris or wherever on an amendment to the failed Constitution: comprising a “discussion of values”, spilled over another 1,000 pages.

    Rotten, decayed, useless, ruinous.

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