WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Ami Bera (D-CA) introduced bicameral versions of the Clean Competition Act. The bill would impose a border fee on imports from carbon-intensive industries such as steel, aluminum, cement, and iron. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a similar bill, the Foreign Pollution Fee Act, on November 3, 2023. Both bills would help prevent companies from relocating production to countries with lower environmental and labor standards than the United States.
Following these announcements, the BlueGreen Alliance released a statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:
“Manufacturing has been the backbone of the middle class and rebuilding our manufacturing base is vital to creating and sustaining good-paying jobs and being globally competitive. However, the industrial sector is responsible for 21% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Bringing down those emissions is critical to meet U.S. and global climate commitments. In an era in which Democratic and Republican members of Congress don’t agree on much, these two bills demonstrate that an import fee placed on highly climate-polluting products and industries is common-sense policy that is a win-win for U.S. workers and our climate.
“Carbon border adjustment mechanisms (CBAMs) would help prevent companies from cutting corners on environmental protections and incentivize countries and firms to produce cleaner industrial materials and products. This will promote keeping and growing jobs here in the United States and reduce climate emissions because facilities in the United States continue to be cleaner than much of the world, giving us a competitive advantage.
“The BlueGreen Alliance applauds senators working together at the intersection of climate, jobs, and trade. We look forward to working with members of Congress to advance and eventually pass a bill that will incentivize industrial decarbonization and protect good, family-sustaining jobs.”