July 08,2009

Finance Considers International Trade Implications of Climate Change Legislation

Chairman Baucus commissioned GAO report released at hearing

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) commented today following a Finance Committee hearing on the trade aspects of climate change legislation. Baucus stressed the importance of helping vulnerable Industries transition to greener technologies, and the importance of complying with our international trade obligations as we do so.

“Climate change is a defining issue of our time. We need to act urgently, but wisely, to address it,” Baucus said. “We must identify the industries that need help, and give them the tools to succeed in a greener economy. But we also must comply with international trade rules. Actions that provoke retaliation from our trading partners will only hurt the same industries we're trying to help. I am confident we can craft legislation that strikes the right balance.”

Today’s hearing focused on a report that Senator Baucus commissioned from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Senator Baucus asked GAO to (1) develop criteria for identifying industries that may be vulnerable under a cap and?trade system; (2) discuss policy options for helping those industries transition to a cap and trade system; and (3) examine the international trade implications of those options. GAO unveiled their findings at today's hearing.

The full GAO report may be viewed at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09724r.pdf