Friday, June 15, 2007

Solution to pollution havens

Matthew E. Kahn, who posts at Environmental and Urban Economics, discussed "Pollution Havens, Asymmetric Information and Product Quality", and mentioned that "plenty of papers have been written about the rise of poor nations as pollution havens as international trade grows"...I think that a policy that the United States could adopt with regard to imports of manufactured goods that would be reasonable would be to require that imported goods be manufactured at facilities adhering to the same environmental standards as those that are law in the US.

For example, steel imported from China and Russia would have to be produced at plants that meet US emission standards. Short term, this would please US workers, as it would take some time for many foreign operations to get their facilities improved. Long term, it would benefit everyone as citizens of the exporting countries would be exposed to less pollution.

1 comment:

Robert said...

..or we charge an environmental hazard tax. Once the idea is ensconced in our rulemaking, it might be extended to a social hazard tax.

In any case, pollution is a good starting point because even supportors of child labor can acknowledge the global cost.