Trade Is Important for Dealing with Climate Change, but the Media Won’t Let Us Talk About the Most Important Form of Protection

Source: Beat the Press
by Dean Baker

“Eduardo Porter had an interesting column in the Washington Post last week in which he argued that trade will be important in slowing climate change. The basic point is that we could do a lot to reduce emissions by encouraging people to buy items where they are produced with the least emissions. The point is well-taken even if Porter’s preferred mechanism, a carbon tax, is a political impossibility for the foreseeable future. However, what is striking in Porter’s piece, and others making similar arguments, is the refusal to talk about trade in intellectual products, which is arguably a far more important issue in addressing climate change. If that claim sounds strange, it’s probably because of the taboo on even raising the issue in polite discussions. … our laws on intellectual property are explicitly designed to prevent technology from being freely available.” (11/19/23)