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If you are thinking why national carbon prices aren’t being discussed in the US election right now, it is because neither Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton support one.
Emails from WikiLeaks show the Clinton campaign team was worried about promises of US national carbon tax by Clinton would be lethal to her ambitions.
In the primaries, when Bernie Sanders had challenged Clinton to support him with his national carbon tax, Clinton said she was going to reduce industrial GHG emissions that are linked with climate change with the help of regulatory policies. She also said that it would be impossible to get a carbon tax bill through the Republican US Congress.
It will make industries in Canada less competitive as compared to their largest trading partners and will prompt a number of industries to shift to other countries like the United States which don’t have national carbon pricing.
It is the fear of this leakage that makes provinces like Alberta and Ontario give huge subsidies to the best GHG emitting industries so that they stay in Canada instead of relocating to the US or somewhere else.
Unlike Trudeau, ex-PM Stephen Harper had an idea of the damage which would occur to the Canadian economy if they implemented a national carbon tax without the US. This is why he only supported national carbon tax through cap-and-trade in 2008 when it appeared as it US President Obama was on the verge of getting his national scheme through the Congress.
Realistically, this means Canada will need to adopt cap-and-trade since the economy is associated with the United States.
But following the elections of 2008, when Obama couldn’t win support for the plan, Harper dropped his support of a scheme that was along the same lines as well.
By imposing a national tax in the absence of the US doing the same, Trudeau is hurting the economy and risking Canadian workers jobs.