Democrats say they will use threats of trade barriers to force other countries to comply with their climate change agenda.
Several of the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination said at Friday night’s debate in New Hampshire that they would not sign trade agreements with other countries that did not include environmental regulation or would work to include such regulation in modifications of existing trade agreements.
“Everyone wants to get to the American markets. We should be raising standards on climate around the world to get access to our market,” Elizabeth Warren said.
Several other candidates voiced similar views.
Such an embrace of trade restrictions is notable because all of the candidates on the debate stage also say they oppose Donald Trump’s tariffs.
It is also a striking rejection of the trade policies embraced by the previous two Democratic presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Other countries might balk at attempts by U.S. politicians to impose a climate policy on them in order to gain access to U.S. markets. Very likely, these policies would set off a new round of retaliatory tariffs by countries that want to set their own climate policies rather than be dictated to by Washington.