Trade Decisions must be made Through a Climate Lens, Says Green Party

OTTAWA - In response to the recent announcement of new tariffs on Chinese goods by the Biden administration, the Green Party of Canada emphasizes its commitment to ensuring climate implications govern trade policy.

"The Green Party has consistently pressured Canada not to place tariffs on Chinese solar panels,” said Leader Elizabeth May. “Canada's minimal solar panel industry means that imposing tariffs only serves to raise the domestic cost of solar energy. We should be embracing the global shift towards renewables, not hindering it."

Due to The Solar Anti-Dumping Tariff, solar panels are currently taxed at an astonishing 165% in Canada upon entry from China. This not only impedes progress towards renewable energy but also places significant strain on consumers and businesses.

"We need renewables to be disruptors of the status quo,” added Deputy Leader Jonathan Pedneault. “Government action tends to protect the status quo, hindering progress in the transition to a green economy."

Regarding electric vehicles (EVs), The Green Party emphasized its support for a domestic industry while recognizing the potential benefits of unimpeded competition. It’s important to continue supporting a domestic industry to manufacture EVs. Competition from China can be helpful in driving down prices and encouraging the adoption of more lightweight vehicles.

Trade critic Jessica Wegg (Green candidate in North Island Powell River) pointed out that “the emerging geopolitical order requires Canada to be a bridge builder, not merely falling in line with the USA. We need trade policies that boost the Canadian economy while using every tool to keep global average temperatures as far below 2 degrees as possible."

“In the midst of both a climate and affordability crisis, tariffs like this do not help Canadians who are fighting an uphill battle against corporate profits to live more sustainably,” added MP Mike Morrice. “We must prioritize making climate solutions accessible to all over private profits.”

As the United States no longer holds a position of global economic hegemony, the Green Party of Canada reaffirms its commitment to advocating for people and the planet in a predictable rules-based order.

Overall, the Green Party recommends integrating climate considerations into all trade policies, as it is crucial for promoting global cooperation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring economic and environmental sustainability.


For more information or to arrange an interview : 

Fabrice Lachance Nové

Press secretary