I have tried my hand writing a script. Unfortunately the script is for a failed climate change programme. The story goes like this – the protagonist is a key part of the climate
change programme but doesn’t really bother about it. It, however, is a part of all key negotiations related to climate change and makes sure that most of the negotiations leaves them in a better position than the last time.
Timeline: May – 2012
On the 17th of May, 2012 the U.S. Commerce Department imposed duties of as much as 250% on Chinese solar imports, siding with companies including SolarWorld AG (SWV) that said the goods were sold below the cost of production, a practice known as dumping. Eight days later on the 25th of May, 2012 China launched an official complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO). (DS437)
The Geneva-based trade arbiter agreed to set up a panel of judges to investigate China’s allegation that the U.S. acted “inconsistently with WTO rules and rulings in many aspects” during probes to determine whether Chinese companies received illegal government aid.
The two governments have stepped up WTO complaints and rhetoric over access to the others’ markets this year as the global economic crisis crimps trade. The Obama administration says China keeps its currency undervalued and engages in unfair tactics that have led to chronic U.S. trade deficits and the loss of millions of American jobs.
Cracking down on China also emerged as a key campaign issue during the recent U.S. presidential race, with Republican candidate Mitt Romney blaming President Barack Obama for the loss of U.S manufacturing jobs and criticizing him for not declaring China a currency manipulator. Obama has said his administration has lodged trade complaints against China at almost twice the rate of his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.
Timeline: February – 2013
The United States on Wednesday filed a challenge with the World Trade Organization (DS456) over elements of India’s national solar program, which it said discriminates against foreign solar products in violation of a core global trade rule. The dispute states that the National Solar Mission, launched in 2010, appears to discriminate against U.S. solar equipment by requiring solar energy producers to use Indian-manufactured solar cells and modules and by offering subsidies to those developers for using domestic equipment instead of imports, the U.S. trade office said.
The U.S. representative Ron Kirk said in a statement “Unfortunately, India’s discriminatory policies in its national solar programme detract from that successful cooperation, raise the cost of clean energy, and undermine progress toward our shared objective,”
What you just read is a true scenario and within 9 months, from May 2012 to February 2013, the US has been involved with two disputes at the WTO and both of them are similar in nature just that the US was the respondent in the first case and the complainant in the second. It is just unfathomable how thick-skinned the US is when it comes to addressing climate change. This is not the first time that a thing like this is happening – the most common one being the part of all climate change conferences under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change without ratifying to most of its principles. This raises many questions & concerns.
I shall be happy to get comments from the readers of this blog about the approach of the US towards environmental issues.