Canada is crippling its economy and damaging its own competitiveness by imposing carbon taxes on Canadian manufacturing while importing products with massive carbon footprints from China without imposing similar taxes, says Gwyn Morgan, one of Canada’s foremost business executives.
“If you’re taxing something that’s already as clean as it could get, all you’re doing is increasing the price and the cost to consumers, industry, businesses, and manufacturing, and making the country less competitive,” said Morgan, founder of Canada’s largest energy company EnCana Corp., now Ovintiv Inc.
Morgan notes that Canada already produces 75 percent of its power from renewable sources—with hydro accounting for 60 percent followed by nuclear for the rest—and it’s therefore unreasonable to further tax the other portion produced by natural gas-fired power.
Carbon Taxes on Chinese Imports
Morgan says China has tricked Canada and other Western countries into believing that it’s reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and by urging others to fall in line, it has effectively undermined their competitiveness.
“The whole charade is that [Chinese leader Xi Jinping] and his compatriots have come to these meetings in Paris … and [they] say ‘We are already doing a lot of things. We’ve got more green power than any other country. We are on track to lower emissions,’” Morgan said. “They’re saying, ‘You guys have to catch up to us,’ which is so laughable. It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.”
While Canadian manufacturers, who cannot further reduce carbon emissions, are heavily taxed, products imported from China that carry massive carbon footprints are still getting a free ride.
“If you buy anything [from China], the intrinsic carbon emissions content of that is astronomically higher than the emissions content intrinsically if it was produced here. And yet we’re taxing ourselves and we are letting China off free to send their carbon intensive products here.”
To remedy this, Morgan suggests imposing the same amount of carbon tariffs on Chinese products as the carbon taxes placed on Canadian manufacturing.
“If you’re going to apply that [carbon] tax, while doing it, apply the same tax rate to China’s stuff, and you’re going to be finding that their taxes are 10 times higher than ours,” Morgan said.
“So rather than taxing our stuff and putting our manufacturers even more out of business, why aren’t we taxing the intrinsic carbon content of the products from China?” he said, “There’s no basic logic for not doing that.”
Winning Through Deception
Another example Morgan gave was China’s coal consumption. He said that while Xi has recently promised to “strictly limit” and phase down its coal consumption, one needs to look at the data. The Global Energy Monitor reports that, based on January 2021 figures, China has 1,082 operating coal-fired power stations, which is about 44 percent of the world total of around 2,450, and it has 227 other coal plants either under construction or in the pre-construction phase, which is about 43 percent of the world total of around 530.
A recent report by Rhodium Group also showed that China’s GHG emissions surpassed that of all developed countries combined in 2019. According to the report, China alone produced over 27 percent of the global carbon dioxide emissions, far exceeding the United States, the second-highest emitter, which is responsible for 11 percent of global emissions.
Morgan said the Chinese regime is using “strategic deception” in its efforts to subdue rival states without outright military confrontations, taking a chapter right out of “The Art of War,” a classic work by sixth-century B.C. Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu.
“They’re winning because they’re using the art of deception, and it’s being bought by Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau and other people,” Morgan said.