In a speech on the Senate floor on May 22, Democratic senator Ron Wyden of Oregon ridiculed those who thought climate change regulation would be part of Obamatrade:
We’ve heard suggested, for example, that it’s a backdoor route to immigration reform or action on climate change…. My sense is that the rate these hypotheticals are going, you’re bound to hear that a future president working on a trade deal might have second thoughts about the Louisiana purchase.
But in an interview on NPR’s Marketplace yesterday (June 3), President Obama said that enforcing climate change regulations will indeed be part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Obamatrade pact that he is currently negotiating with Malaysia and 10 other countries. He said:
If we want to solve something like climate change, which is one of my highest priorities, then I’ve got to be able to get into places like Malaysia, and say to them, this is in your interest. What leverage do I have to get them to stop deforestation? Well part of the leverage is if I’m in a trade relationship with them that allows me to raise standards.
In December, Obama will negotiate a multi-country climate agreement in Paris. We already know from Obama’s joint announcement with China that he will commit the United States to a huge reduction in carbon emissions of 26%-28% from 2005 levels, but he will let China, already a much larger carbon emitter, continue to expand its carbon emissions until 2030.
Obama would not need to get Congress to approve the unfair climate change treaty terms that he negotiates. Instead, he could get the Commission set up by the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to add those terms to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
After that, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement Provisions, set up by that agreement, could enforce Obama’s terms through the threat of multi-billion-dollar fines upon the U.S. government.