News & Politics

Biden Says He Would Impose Tariffs on Chinese Goods if China Doesn't Cut Carbon Emissions

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Iowa Federation of Labor convention, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Altoona, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said he would consider imposing tariffs on Chinese goods if China does not reduce its carbon emissions.

During CNN’s climate town hall on Wednesday, an audience member asked Biden how he would try to get China to lower its emissions as president. China currently emits more carbon than any other country.

“They’re exporting coal technology, they’re building coal plants on their Belt and Road area. They’re moving in a way that they’re, in fact, making the environment much, much worse. They, in fact, have increased, I think, 4.5 percent. They have increased the emissions from China. And so there has to be a price that they pay if they do that,” Biden said. “And that’s why I would talk about dealing with how we deal with them in terms of tariffs relating to their products that are being sold, if, in fact, they are involved in continuing to export, export this climate change. That’s what they’re doing. But you’ve got to get the rest of the world in on the deal to do it. That’s how you get it done.”

Biden continued, “And that’s why it’s important for us to meet the standards we say we’re going to meet. Because it went up 2.5 percent in the United States, it increased emissions, just in the last couple years under this president. It leveled out about 17 and now it’s up 2.5 percent. You can’t very well preach to the choir if, in fact, you can’t sing.”

President Trump has imposed tariffs on a host of Chinese products in response to their economic practices such as devaluing their currency. China has responded with retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. Trade talks between the two countries are ongoing.