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Columbia Energy Exchange

Tensions Rise in Global Trade


Maureen Hinman

Executive Chair of Silverado Policy Accelerator


Maureen Hinman [00:00:03] We’re in this weird position where there’s this tension where people are very unhappy with trade rules, and yet we’re at a time if we want to grow, especially if we want to grow in a clean energy economy, we need new disciplines, we need more market access, we need more coordination among countries. And that tension really exists. So I think that it really starts with kind of having better sort of more agile defensive measures and also with challenging some of the traditional disciplines that, you know, that that the trade system is built on. The trade system’s really, really important. It’s kind of like the financial system. You may not like it, but try to live without it.


Jason Bordoff [00:00:33] Around the world, Green industrial policy is driving a surge of new investment into clean energy. This is good news for the climate, but it puts the international trading system under intense strain. As countries around the world vie for influence over the growing market for clean energy, new fault lines are emerging and old rivalries are reigniting. With energy security still top of mind, policymakers face the difficult task of balancing access to an open market against control over the energy supply chains of the future. The risks of failure are immense. A fractured global market could slow clean energy uptake, which is vital for solving the ever worsening climate crisis. What risks do trade tensions pose for the energy transition? What are the major areas of dispute and how can policymakers improve the global trading system to support rapid clean energy growth? This is Columbia Energy Exchange, a weekly podcast from the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. I’m Jason Bordoff. Today on the show, Maureen Henman. Maureen’s the co-founder and executive chair of Silverado Policy Accelerator, a nonprofit organization that uses a venture capital approach to address policy challenges in cybersecurity, trade, geopolitics and energy. Before founding Silverado, she served as director for environment and Natural Resources at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where she led a range of trade policy initiatives focused on natural resource conservation. She also served as the U.S. Department of Commerce’s senior industry trade specialist and as a consultant for Nathan Associates. Maureen joined me to discuss the challenges facing global clean energy trade. We also discussed carbon border adjustments, the multilateral trade agreements and the future of the World Trade Organization. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Maureen Hinman, welcome to Columbia Energy Exchange. Great to see you and have you here in person at the Center on Global Energy Policy in New York. Thanks for visiting.


Maureen Hinman [00:02:41] It’s a pleasure to be here. It’s awesome to come all the way up here to New York from the wilds of Washington, D.C., and and to visit the unit in the office.


Jason Bordoff [00:02:49] Lots to talk about. Our listeners will have just heard your bio, but I’m not sure if titles fully reflect one’s career, trajectory and expertise. And everyone in the climate world is thinking and talking probably a little more than they used to about trade. Just help people understand how you why you’re here, how you come to talk about this work and what your career has been really at the intersection of trade and the environment.


Maureen Hinman [00:03:18] Yeah, it’s been interesting, an interesting ride. So if you had asked someone five years ago, you know, who works on trade in the environment and does trade in the environment matter, Most people would tell you only people who work in the environmental field, in the climate field, they would say trade’s the worst and it doesn’t have any bearing on environmental. In fact, it’s a it’s a it’s a detriment to the environment. So I came up in a very small little niche area of trade policy that focuses on trade and the environment. And I started out doing that when I when I was working at the US Department of Commerce. I was the environmental technology trade policy expert. So I covered all the trade policy issues for for clean tech. And that’s kind of where I cut my teeth on the environmental components of, of, of of solving solving the problems.


Jason Bordoff [00:04:07] A big part of what commerce does, there’s an undersecretary for international trade.


Maureen Hinman [00:04:11] That’s right. And then there is, you know, several branches inside commerce that deal with both, you know, U.S. competitiveness. They support the office of the U.S. Trade Representative on trade negotiations, which I did a lot of. I worked on a little agreement called the Environmental Goods Agreement. And during the Obama administration and really, you know, learn was a trade person who came to the climate and environment stuff, which is fairly unique because now that the tables have turned, right. So there’s lots of climate people who now understand that there’s going to be economic tools we need to deploy in order to solve climate and to do it in a coordinated global fashion. And so now there’s lots of climate people who are coming to the to the to the trade world. And so it’s been a really fun in the past couple of years have been really fun and interesting in terms of those two worlds sort of colliding and deciding that they need a quick marriage. And we need to we need to get moving quickly.


Jason Bordoff [00:05:09] And you did that at the Commerce Department and also at the U.S. Trade representative?


Maureen Hinman [00:05:13] Yes, after my part in the White House. That’s exactly right. So I after my after my tenure at the Commerce Department, I was called up to the big leagues and became a trade negotiator. And I negotiated on a variety of environmental and environmental industry issues. When I was at when I was at the Commerce Department. I’m sorry, excuse me, when I was at USTR and I worked on things like circular economy policies, clean tech policies, all sorts of, you know, climate related trade measures, climate and the natural environment. So we we we were we were we were fairly busy.


Jason Bordoff [00:05:52] So we have that in common, having worked in the White House and also have in common being foolish enough to think it’s a good idea to try to start a think tank. Tell me about or tell everyone, everyone listening about Silverado and what it does and what you’re trying to do there, particularly on these issues of climate and climate change, including trade.


Maureen Hinman [00:06:12] Well, you know, yeah, we we are fairly also fairly niche. So we are a a policy accelerator. When my co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch and I decided that we were going to going to start a little policy shop in Washington, we started looking at some of the other organizations and other think tanks. And one of our first principles was that we didn’t want to be duplicative. You know, there’s a new shingle on every door, every sort of 15 minutes in Washington, and we didn’t want to be doing something that was duplicative. And, you know, after we started thinking about the kind of issues we wanted. To work on. We wanted to be really narrow and we wanted to make sure that we created a space for for for novel policy solutions and the ability to try and accelerate policy solutions the way that a, you know, technology accelerator in Silicon Valley accelerates technology solutions. So that’s how we came up with the title policy accelerator, because we don’t always come up with best ideas, but we’re our job is to kind of harvest them across organizations, across partner organizations, and then we invest in their implementation with the idea that some ideas are going to fail and some ideas are going to be wildly successful. But there’s not really this sort of we wanted to create this space to incubate novel policy solutions. And so that was the genesis of Silverado. We also wanted to do things that were very expert focused, so we only focused on three areas which include what we call ECOSOC, which is ecological and economic security. So really, you know what we’re talking about today. How do you make sure that the that the clean transition is economically viable? What types of national and global economic policies do we need to have in place to support that? We work on trade, industrial security, and there’s a big piece of overlap there, certainly with things like critical supply chain and critical minerals security. And then finally, just global and national security. We work on traditional geopolitics, whether it’s, you know, Russia, Ukraine, Ukraine issues or the new Cold War with China.


Jason Bordoff [00:08:14] So when some of us, you know, started working on all these issues a long time ago, and that was an era of embracing trade and the World Trade Organization, more economic integration globally, bringing China into that system. Just give me a sense of where you think the global trading system is today. It’s sort of. Trite to say, you know, not many things people on both sides of the aisle can agree to in Washington. One is China is a problem and maybe the other is free. Trade is not so much in fashion anymore on either side of the aisle. Do you think that’s right? Is the global trading system in significant retreat? And what does that mean for efforts to combat climate change and deploy clean energy?


Maureen Hinman [00:08:59] Yeah, it’s it’s a great question. Thank you. So I think that just a start. Trade agreements are really an artifact of the time they were negotiated and are an artifact of the economy at that time and the partners who are involved. And so a lot of the assumptions that we made about what trade can and can’t do for the economy and how those tools were built and fashioned were built at a time before we really anticipated the long term retention of non-market and authoritarian authoritarian partners in the system. All the checks and balances in the system, all the carrots and sticks, are really built around the idea that you’re going to create pain points.


Jason Bordoff [00:09:36] For.


Maureen Hinman [00:09:37] For for countries that have governments that are accountable to the to stakeholders. Right. So we don’t really have right now we’re in a position where we’ve retained China for a very long time and we have other non-market partners and we have a lot of authoritarian partners. And so there’s this perception kind of that the system isn’t working. It’s an honest perception, right? Because, you know, there has been a lot of rule breaking and there has been a lot of and there has been a lot of sort of value theft, you know, across across different different areas. And so I think that the frustration around trade is not so much with the rules themselves, but with the insufficiency of those rules just with our current membership and our current economy.


Jason Bordoff [00:10:21] Jeff, I don’t want to interrupt, but if I hear you, you know, there was a speech that many people noticed a few months ago by Jake Sullivan at Brookings, our national security advisor. And there’s a lot the international economic approach there. But one of the things he said is we remain committed to free trade, but it is also the case that the assumptions we made 20, 25 years ago that China would play by the same rules we are. Those assumptions need to be revisited, and that means we need a change in approach. It sounds like you’re agreeing with what Jake said.


Maureen Hinman [00:10:50] Yeah, that’s exactly right. So the sort of traditional trade areas we do need to think about ways to to fashion rules that make sense for the members that we have today and that rules are, frankly, that are more agile than the rules were when they were first envisioned. So, you know, a WTO case, the World Trade Organization, an actual litigation case, you know, on a on a very optimistic time frame, takes about ten years. The other sort of artifact of the time is these trade agreements. Really what the disciplines were originally developed and negotiated is that this was before the global economy moved very fast. Right? It was even before the telecom revolution. So having a ten year litigation schedule is not going to work. If if a of a predatory partner can wipe out your entire industry in 6 to 12 months, we just need more agile rules because the countries need to feel safe in their ability to protect themselves if there is, you know, poor behavior afoot. And and meanwhile, I think that will actually give a lot of countries sort of confidence if they feel that they have more agile defensive tools to expand markets, because this is another one of the big issues is that, you know, the amount of market access that we have right now is very low. So we’re in this weird position where there’s this tension where people are very unhappy with trade rules, and yet we’re at a time if we want to grow, especially if we want to grow in the clean energy economy, we need new disciplines, we need more market access, we need more coordination among countries. And that tension really exists. So I think that it really starts with kind of having better sort of more agile defensive measures and also with challenging some of the traditional disciplines that, you know, that the trade system is built on. The trade system is really, really important. It’s kind of like the financial system. You may not like it, but try to live without it.


Jason Bordoff [00:12:42] Say more about that. How do we achieve both of those things? What I hear you saying is we need a rules based trading system.


Maureen Hinman [00:12:49] We do.


Jason Bordoff [00:12:50] But I also hear you. I hear. Well, tell me if you think that’s right. I do hear more and more people who say we have a crisis on our hands with climate change. We need to move really fast. If that means we got to throw subsidies at clean energy, if that means the politics require somewhat protectionist provisions that will boost domestic economic activity, because that’s what it’s going to take to get the votes. Like, let’s just do it. Forget the rules based trading system that can come second. We have a crisis on our hand. Is that is that right to be is that is that a false trade off? I mean, and how do we have a rules based trading system while at the same time you’re putting in place a ton of policies to support the deployment of clean energy that at least on their face. And this is not just about China. The Europeans are upset with the Inflation Reduction Act. Sure, you know, they seem to violate the rules of free trade.


Maureen Hinman [00:13:38] Yeah. Unless I think the rules are, you know, I don’t want to maintain the WTO as a temple when the world’s on fire. Right. So we have to solve climate quickly. There’s going to need to be a lot of subsidization that goes on. We are going to have to think about trade in our economic relationships very differently. We’re going to have to make a lot of trade offs on things like mined goods, critical supply chain, even things around like circular economy and how we trade what we previously referred to as waste. But it’s raw materials. There’s lots of complex technical stuff that has to happen. And even then there’s big questions about whether we’re going to we’re going to cross the the the cross the finish line by 2050. And so I do think that, you know, governments are going to have to start to really move fast and ask questions of WTO legality. Second, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing because if you look at the history of all trade law before new disciplines have formed, there’s always they’ve always been preceded by a innovation, a sector. A lot of conflict between countries about what they’re doing and what’s right, right or wrong or left or right. And that leads to getting people to that conflict, eventually leads people to the table. And then countries kind of get reasonable. They reform or they decide to align their policies and change rules. And so the one concern that I have is that we don’t actually have a lot of time. Typically, trade rounds take about 20 years to negotiate. We’re currently, I think in the 22nd or 23rd year of the Doha Round, which is I don’t think had a formal real round discussion for a very long time. Now, these.


Jason Bordoff [00:15:14] Big rounds of big.


Maureen Hinman [00:15:15] Global trade discussions at the World Trade Center, rules.


Jason Bordoff [00:15:17] Of the WTO.


Maureen Hinman [00:15:19] Right. We have smaller regional work, but even that’s really hard. You know, the most favored nation principles that underpin the WTO say that you can work with small partners and regions and sectors, but only if you cover most of the trade and only if you give the benefits on the sectoral and to all the other members of the WTO. So you have a sort of natural sort of free rider problem that comes up when you think about, you know, giving something up and giving it to every single partner who’s not also giving something up. Let me just.


Jason Bordoff [00:15:49] Ask you a follow up to that. You’re talking about the need to subsidize clean energy because it’s a crisis the world is burning. Maybe we think differently about the rules of permissible subsidies. So China subsidized solar panels a lot and batteries a lot. And is that is that a good thing for climate or is that a bad thing?


Maureen Hinman [00:16:10] This is a really challenging question, right? So on the on the issues of subsidies, I think we have to determine what what subsidies are legitimate. And we probably need new tests for legitimacy versus, you know, maybe subsidies we think are kind of wrong so far. On China’s case, there’s this act of subsidization through a willful, willful environmental arbitrage, which is ignoring your environmental rules so you can seek rent on the system. Right. Pay lower amount to produce something because you’re not, let’s say, turning on your scrubbers and your coal fired power plants. Your energy’s cheaper. And then, of course, we know that, you know, in China, there’s also, you know, suppressed labor prices and even forced labor employed. And in the solar industry, you know, it doesn’t cost any money to build something because you’re using slave labor. You’re also undercutting the global market. Those types of subsidies, I you know, I think we can all agree are probably counterintuitive, counterproductive to to what’s at heart. It’s very different when you look at, say, a, you know, a U.S. or European or Chilean subsidy that says, you know what, the government this year we’re just going to where we’re going to we’re going to subsidize a lot of built infrastructure. Right. And by the way, we all are democracies and we have constituencies that we have to make happy and that we have to make whole in the transition. And one of the ways we’re going to do that is by giving some local content requirements and these subsidies so the local communities feel that they that they’re getting bought, that they’re getting that they have buy in in the clean energy future. The latter example is arguably illegal under WTO rules. Right.


Jason Bordoff [00:17:53] To require things be made domestically to qualify for the subsidy, which is what some countries got upset with parts of the inflation reduction.


Maureen Hinman [00:18:00] Exactly. But is it politically necessary to sell these those policies overall? And I would argue that it is it’s politically necessary to make people.


Jason Bordoff [00:18:09] Whole and therefore should be legal because it is politically necessary.


Maureen Hinman [00:18:13] I think governments have to talk about what what a green box subsidy looks like for clean tech and what what levels and thresholds might need to be under consideration for things like subsidies and also for things like government procurement. You know, those two are kind of related, but we have to have our we have to have kind of a gentlemen’s agreement about what thresholds and levels are going to make sense because every single country is going to have the same issue, which is how do you how do you subsidize a clean transition, knowing that that is going there’s going to be certain stakeholder groups who are going to suffer more than others. Right. And so I always use the example, if you have a nuclear power station nearby, you will great, you have power. And hey, that’s that’s carbon free. And so everything you produce there is going to be fine, right? You don’t need to be subsidized if you live near a coal fired power plant or even, you know, a gas fired power plant. Everything that you produce locally is going to be punished under any sort of sort of transition regime. Right. Your livelihood might suffer if you work in, let’s say, fossil fuels, are livelihoods going to suffer. And so transitioning we have we aren’t just transit, transitioning electrons and molecules, we’re also transitioning livelihoods and built infrastructure. And that’s very uneven inside countries. So every single country is going to have this question about when we make these big decisions about how governments and how the private sector is going to finance this massive rapid transition, how we make sure that the political constituencies across the board are satisfied enough with their future that they’re not going to create an undue barrier to the transition.


Jason Bordoff [00:19:56] And sort of lots of discussions about trade law and policy after and kind of, you know, raise the question of whether you’re sparking tit for tat retaliation and a downward spiral. And so when you say when one if one were to say you passed by a tie breaking vote of the vice president doesn’t get closer than the Inflation Reduction Act you had to do, it was politically possible, including domestic content requirements. And now we see Indonesia saying we’re not exporting raw nickel. We want to own the downstream higher value parts of the supply chain to turn all of that into valuable products. And we’re going to export restrictions or maybe we’ll have export restrictions on green hydrogen because we want the steel and manufacturing to come to whatever country in North Africa you’re talking about. Doesn’t all of this spark a lot of retaliation that that raises trade barriers and ultimately raises the cost of the clean energy transition?


Maureen Hinman [00:20:46] It certainly can. It has the potential to. I do think that there’s a little bit of I mean, with the Indonesia example, you inadvertently stumbled on something really important is that developing countries have a dog in this fight as well. And they. They are very frustrated that and, you know, if you were to go to Geneva today and talk to a few members from from the developing caucus, they’re very frustrated with that. With you see them, they think they’re left there. They feel that they’re left out because their.


Jason Bordoff [00:21:16] Carbon carbon.


Maureen Hinman [00:21:16] Border adjustment policies that they are putting in place, the the EU is putting in place the this this measure literally is in a position to collect taxes on exports that developing countries need for foreign exchange.


Jason Bordoff [00:21:33] That’s where the so the Europeans have what they would argue is strong climate policy. And they have said if you’re selling goods into the European Union, your your goods will be. We’ll have a carbon tariff at the border.


Maureen Hinman [00:21:45] That’s right.


Jason Bordoff [00:21:45] If you don’t have a similarly stringent climate policy or you.


Maureen Hinman [00:21:49] Don’t have if you don’t have the exact policy that they have, which also is a separate discussion about the sort of trade problems and legal problems that creates, but developing countries that are literally in the position to be taxed at the border for goods with a carbon output, that is the direct result of infrastructure that was put in place when they were colonies. So literally your phone, your farmer, call your former, you know, the former country that led your colony. Right. And colonized your country would then be in the position to say, Oh, yeah, sorry about that coal fired power plant, now I’m going to tax you for it. So furthermore, all of the C damn goes to the EU. Treasury does not go back to the to the to the country where it’s collected. Right. And so there are some really legitimate questions about how fair that is and also about whether it’s truly a a an effective measure. We always talk in trade, talk about effectiveness. Right. Certainly when we’re talking about environmental measures that might be subject to an exemption in WTO law, But whether that is truly effective, if that if those revenues are going back to a Treasury as opposed to being returned to invest in decarbonization or, you know, directly, you know, the purchase of carbon credits. Right. Because otherwise is just a tax and an extension of tax on every molecule.


Jason Bordoff [00:23:10] I mean, one defending the idea of a carbon border adjustment might say if you’re going to have a hefty carbon price on your domestic economy, which the European Union has in their ETS program, and then you’re your carbon intensive manufacturer as your steel and aluminum producers and they will pay a hefty carbon tax and that’ll be reflected in the price of the goods that they can sell. And so if imports don’t pay that carbon price, you’re just you’re not having as big a climate impact as you could. But also it’s just a matter of fairness and competitiveness for your domestic industry.


Maureen Hinman [00:23:45] And that’s a national treatment issue you’re allowed to require. You’re certainly allowed to require anything that you import to meet the same standards as your domestic producers do. That’s very strongly upheld trade principle. But this kind of gets into that gray area with the ECB. And by the way, I’m a huge fan of border adjustment and border adjustment work. I don’t think the C Dam is the only way to do it. But but this does beg the question about whether the EU see them and is is legitimate and it’s an it in its and its objectives and also.


Jason Bordoff [00:24:21] As a matter of WTO.


Maureen Hinman [00:24:23] Good.


Jason Bordoff [00:24:23] Policy.


Maureen Hinman [00:24:23] Okay yeah. As a good policy, I think that they’re I think if you us that any of my former colleagues at the EU they would they would tell you that it’s quite their objectives are legitimate and I believe and I believe them on face they are trying to save the climate.


Jason Bordoff [00:24:34] But so I mean it’s actually interesting think if your goal is to save the climate, that might take you to one sort of design. If your goal is to level the playing field with your domestic industry, it might take you to a different country.


Maureen Hinman [00:24:46] And I think I think the EU see them as the latter, probably because there is a real question about if you if you take an exception, Article 20 exception, as it’s known in WTO law, the measures that you ask for have to be comparative in effectiveness to your own measures. They you can’t require the exact same rules in another country that’s exporting. They only have to be comparative in effectiveness. Right. So the US famously lost in the tuna dolphin case by requiring, you know, Mexican fishers to have the exact same rules as the United States when it came to two turtle excluded devices, another another measures to reduce dolphin catch rate in tuna and tuna hunting. And so that kind of establish this idea of comparative effectiveness which dovetails nicely with other law. Right.


Jason Bordoff [00:25:38] Which is just translated to the climate world as some of our listeners be more familiar with. You can have a carbon tax, you can have a regulation, you.


Maureen Hinman [00:25:46] Can have regular.


Jason Bordoff [00:25:46] Under.


Maureen Hinman [00:25:47] The Mental.


Jason Bordoff [00:25:47] Protection Agency case here, and you’re still requiring coal producers or energy producers to meet a lower carbon threshold. There’s some cost to doing that perhaps. And you’re saying, okay, you’ve now done something that’s comparable to what we’ve done in. In a different way. Yeah. So we could not impose that that that carbon border adjustment. You can.


Maureen Hinman [00:26:08] You Yeah. It’s exactly it’s about performance so. So the. So essentially if you were to look at one tonne of steel from the EU and one ton of steel from the United States if the you of the GHG emitted in the production of that steel is lower in the United States there would be no grounds for which. Now what if you contribute to export that steel?


Jason Bordoff [00:26:29] But this comes to what I said a moment ago, which is is your goal climate or is your goal leveling the playing field? If you have a carbon price, which your industry bears the cost of eventually consumers. And in the U.S., we throw money at the problem and the government subsidizes it. The government pays for the cost. If you said our goal is to decarbonize, then you’re both doing roughly equal work. Let’s assume that’s.


Maureen Hinman [00:26:53] Right. And where those dollars and cents and euros are spent is actually irrelevant if the performance is roughly equivalent.


Jason Bordoff [00:26:59] Right. But if your goal, which I think Article 20 would, that would be the test. I think you would trade low. That’s right. Are you trying to say, well, we’ve done something to our domestic industry and now we’re going to level the playing field? But it’s hard to argue leveling the playing field if the product of the steel or aluminum is coming from a country where the industry has not paid for the cost of decarbonization, the government has. Right. Yeah.


Maureen Hinman [00:27:23] I mean, I guess I think there’s two ways to think about it because, you know, it depends whether you think that the A direct tax is actually the best way to do it. And that that is it depends whether you believe that there’s equivalence between a between a subsidy, which is kind of a a roundabout way of a direct tax. Right. Because ostensibly those businesses and everybody who works for them are paying taxes. And when the government subsidizes decarbonization, some portion of that has been reappropriated to do that, decarbonization as opposed to a direct tax. Right.


Jason Bordoff [00:27:58] I guess what I’m asking is, do you as you see the carbon border adjustment developing in Europe, is that something where because of the Inflation Reduction Act, we’re part a part of a part of it, or is it being used against the United States? Is it is a conflict or cooperation if they implement the carbon border adjustment?


Maureen Hinman [00:28:15] I think that the I think carbon border adjustment is very laudable in that it’s got everyone talking about a border adjustment. Right. There’s lots there’s a lot of fire and ambition now that there wasn’t before. I think it has created a lot of undue tension between the U.S. and and and the EU. And that has actually grown with with with the implementation of the IRA and with other sort of questions about how we square these questions between our two major economies. I happen to believe is just a personal opinion that much of the consternation around the IRA and the and the tax credits are just performative on the EU’s part. They’re being good negotiators and they’re upset about something that’s kind of negligible so they can get more more sort of advantageous treatment in other areas. And I think it’s been so far fairly effective for the EU so that, for instance, the US surrendered temporarily during that negotiation of that global arrangement on steel and aluminum. The gas, as it’s called, temporarily surrendered the 232 tariffs on metals that the that the EU or the US had put in place for national security reasons. So they got something for this. They both got to the table and they also legitimately got tariff reduction on on a on a US tariff measure.


Jason Bordoff [00:29:35] Just explain why you think it’s kind of overblown. You said before there may be a justification because climate is an emergency. We need domestic content requirements. Why isn’t it reasonable for Europe or Korea or someone else to have a problem with that?


Maureen Hinman [00:29:48] Yeah, I mean, it’s and trade law is totally legitimate for them to have problem with that. But ultimately, if you were to if you if you go to the WTO website today and you look at specific trade concerns, which are these sort of complaints that governments make against each other and the technical barriers to trade group, which, you know, which is one of the many working groups and agreements that are under the WTO, you would see a laundry list across countries and especially towards the EU of complaints around national treatment and most favored nation and regulations and standards and conformity assessment. I mean, just the list goes on and on and on and on. In fact, their entire geographic indication system, which has plagued agricultural trade for years, is a local content requirement. Right? You can’t use this word for cheese. If we if that if that cheese is not from this certain, you know, Hamlet in in, in who knows where. But that’s actually not the real reason why I think that this is kind of this is kind of a little bit performative. There are very few current companies inside FTA, FTA countries inside the EU and inside the U.S. itself that could actually meet the standard that. Was envisioned in the IRA. So I honestly believe that the EU is doing a good negotiating job of getting themselves to the table early to try and get access to this, as the Japanese have done. They want they want to be compliant because they want in on the US market. The US Market auto’s market is is a massive jam. We’re going to have mostly EVs in the future, but if we’re talking about current trade today, almost nobody, almost nobody can currently comply with this and get the benefit right. All the automotive manufacturers are rushing toward that. The other thing to remember is that these these measures only last ten years. So by the time that it actually becomes actionable, I mean, it’s I don’t think that that’s it’s probably worth a case. This is just my sort of, you know, my negotiating view. You know, there’s a part of trade policy and trade certainly trade negotiations that’s performative.


Jason Bordoff [00:31:53] And I mean, in a trade negotiation and part of it might just be politics, too. If you’re having economic challenges with domestic industry and you look for others to blame.


Maureen Hinman [00:32:06] That’s right.


Jason Bordoff [00:32:07] This I think I had a similar view in a piece I wrote in The New York Times a year or so ago, and Macron visited D.C., which was I’m concerned about many protectionist trends, including parts of the IRA, but keep it in perspective. And the European rhetoric, at least for my taste, was getting a little out of hand relative to what the actual concerns were and and the opportunities the administration has in its interpretation of the IRA through Treasury regulation to sort of smooth some of that over. Now, that risks some people like Joe Manchin or others being unhappy about how that plans is is not obvious. I think I think at this.


Maureen Hinman [00:32:43] Point it’s also not linear. Right. So, for instance, the U.S. vehicles, passenger vehicles don’t have full access to the European autos market. We give them better we give European autos better access to our market than than we receive on their. So we currently don’t even have reciprocal trade for autos, period. And that is in the favor of the EU. So you can understand how, you know, these things just make a point. These things don’t exist in in silos, right? There’s lots of different trade policy and politics around policies for each and every sector. And so if you think about the clean tech sector, you’re trying to multiply that across the entire economy. These problems are going to continue to get these sort of kerfuffles. They’re going to, you know, be regular news very quickly.


Jason Bordoff [00:33:30] So just to summarize, like what you what kind of WTO reform you think is needed, the or the GATT, the rules of the trade of the global trading system, General Agreement on Tariffs and trade to tackle a problem like climate change. Like what’s the high level answer to that? Because we you mentioned this thing called Article 20 earlier. You’re the expert, not me. But my understanding is you find a violation of the GATT and then you say, But it’s okay because we have a list of things that are it. We’re allowed to violate it in certain cases. That’s right. And I think environmental protection, I forget the language is one of those things.


Maureen Hinman [00:34:02] Action of natural, exhaustible natural resources is that I think the formal term, there’s a purity.


Jason Bordoff [00:34:08] The rules today not sufficient to allow for violations necessary to deal with climate.


Maureen Hinman [00:34:13] And there are principles, I think, that are that that the rule that that the rules are underpinned by that I think are really good for the climate. But I think the rules of that as as they have been practiced and litigated, probably need to need a lot of clarification. So that includes things that will enable sectoral and small, small group work, which is goes to the MFN question. It includes.


Jason Bordoff [00:34:42] Favored nation.


Maureen Hinman [00:34:43] Most favored nation. Yes, sorry to use that. It also includes things like national treatment, what you were talking about with, you know, who who’s measures how, where and like what are the right ways and and national.


Jason Bordoff [00:34:53] Treatment meaning you treat domestic stuff and important stuff similarly.


Maureen Hinman [00:34:56] That you treat the appropriate similarly or the same. We have to really remember that the whole purpose of the global trading system is not harmonized is harmonization. We don’t need to harmonize. The purpose of the global trade system is actually interoperability, and establishing those rules for interoperability I think is the right pathway. So on things like solving climate, we have to be constructive about how subsidization occurs. We have to be able to accept, you know, regulatory approaches as co-equal with pricing measures, as co-equal with some combination thereof. And there’s a lot of complexity out there. We have to be able to create space for pricing, right? So that there’s still ongoing price discovery on on decarbonization, We don’t know for every every given sector what’s the most efficient and what’s the most reasonable tax or carbon fee to charge. And we’re still in the process of price discovery. So kind of foisting a price on another country maybe is not, you know, in the spirit of interoperability. And then, of course, we have these longstanding definitional issues in the WTO and we. Don’t can’t decide what an environmental technology is, what an environmental good is for purposes of trade. We have bad measures for environmental services. We’re getting a lot of people, a lot of places to solve the problems. And we don’t have these sort of. You know, one thing I just mentioned that, you know, the point of system is interoperability, the harmonization. But interoperability only occurs on the backbone of a harmonized system, right? So in trade, it’s the harmonized tariff system which numbers everything in existence. So customs officers can determine that. On the carbon border adjustment side, we’re going to really need a standardized way to measure carbon and in industrial products, right? So we we can actually measure them at the border and tax them appropriately based on our own domestic measures.


Jason Bordoff [00:36:42] For And that’s not about pure reform. That’s just about like it’s super hard to know what the carbon content of steel is. And depending on how a country produces its electricity, is it hydropower or is it coal? It’s going to lead to a very different type of aluminum carbon footprint.


Maureen Hinman [00:36:56] That’s right.


Jason Bordoff [00:36:57] These are just as a matter of administer ability. Really, really hard.


Maureen Hinman [00:37:01] It’s really hard enough determining the boundaries. Right. What part of the production chain are you starting and stopping? If you compare the California ETS to the to the, you know, EU ETS for one tonne of steel, you know, there’s a lot more. All things being equal, there was about twice as much carbon accounted for in the California ETS as the EU ETS.


Jason Bordoff [00:37:24] Is reform needed for things like carbon border adjustments? I mean is the we were just talking about the cbam in the EU, is that legal under the WTO?


Maureen Hinman [00:37:33] I think the the EU cbam is very problematic under under WTO law for a couple of reasons. It ignores the reliance on a carbon price, really ignores that that comparability factor, that equivalence factor, what we were discussing previously, it completely ignores market based or other regulatory approaches to emissions reductions, which is violates the national treatment.


Jason Bordoff [00:37:57] But sorry, I don’t mean interrupt, but just so I understand, are you saying if one thinks of carbon border adjustment, which in design the right way could be a good policy, which I think I heard you say You do? I do. Is that does that would that be legal under current international trade law or is that is the problem you have with with the cbam the way it is designed? But if it were designed differently, it would both be good policy and be WTO legal. Yes. Okay.


Maureen Hinman [00:38:20] Yeah. I think if the EU if the EU sedan was designed, there were several tweaks and it was designed differently, it certainly would be. It could be WTO become WTO legal and would be it would be good policy as such. I think the way that this the policy came about was really about, you know, EU producers being really angry that they had to pay into an ETS and that their, you know, their export credits were insufficient to compete in their own market.


Jason Bordoff [00:38:48] You mentioned this thing with a weird acronym before Gas Gas General, a global agreement, I think on sustainable steel and aluminum. Just help everyone understand it is an important issue. I think by the end of October the US and EU have said they’re supposed to come to some agreement on this. What is this? Why does it matter and why is it important to the whole conversation we’re having now? And how do you think it’ll be resolved?


Maureen Hinman [00:39:13] So yeah, Gaza is really designed to for the EU and the US to talk about what equivalence means between the two systems. Right? So exactly the right question and the right conversation at the right time with the implementation of the EU.


Jason Bordoff [00:39:29] Cbam The idea being that they would tell me this right, they would set an agreed standard for the carbon content, the emissions intensity of these right emissions intensive manufactured products, right.


Maureen Hinman [00:39:43] And have a basis by which to judge equivalence both for themselves and then to partners external to the US and the EU. There’s also been talk recently of of rolling certain critical materials into the Gaza right. So the EU getting access to the IRA question through through this this mechanism. You know as a former negotiator, we always used to say at USTR, the substance will dictate the timeline and no one really knows an agreement until it’s done right. There’s until you actually see text. No one for sure understands what that what’s going to be in it and what the parameters are. If I were a betting woman, I would say that, you know, the to your earlier point, carbon accounting is really complex. And the complexities around doing global accounting for products, which is really does not comport with some of the sort of corporate measures or even some of the other sort of global standards on carbon accounting is is those two things that kind of line up.


Jason Bordoff [00:40:39] And the Europeans, I think, have said this should be part of cbam this should not be a separate thing. Right. Which the U.S. does not doesn’t seem that excited about.


Maureen Hinman [00:40:48] Yeah, the Europeans have said that. Right. But I think the idea is basically to establish this sort of at least if maybe not the actual accounting, but some principles around accounting, let’s say the principle. Walls around what equivalence looks like with probably some, you know, some efforts to to to to narrow the field on specific products sometime in the future. And I only say that because I just don’t know how. You know, we work a little bit of our policy accelerator on quantification and we have really good staff. And I kind of question if the governments have a long enough time to do this in a way that’s, you know, fair, transparent, going to be equitable to doing between countries. And so I would foresee sort of in the future, hopefully a kind of a partnership between the EU and and and the US and between regulatory agencies to start really figuring out some of the particulars on the quantification, but also setting up some some reasonable margins in the in the in the metal sector for what you know, equivalence means and kind of what the marginal, you know, marginal differences between between, you know, carbon footprint might, you know, be acceptable in terms of comparative effectiveness.


Jason Bordoff [00:41:58] I don’t want to keep you too much longer because you were kind to visit in person so we could see each other. But it means you have to fight New York traffic to get back to midtown when you when you leave Columbia. But let me ask you about just one or two other things. I assume a lot of our listeners will have seen in the news over the last couple of years the perceived challenge that this administration was dealing with about how much to levy tariffs on things like Chinese solar panels because of some of the reasons you talked about earlier, concerns about about weaker forced labor, concerns about fair trade practices. And we want solar to be cheaper, not more expensive. So just help everyone understand where that stands right now. What’s the tariff situation and what’s coming down the track in terms of the decisions that that will be made and what that will mean for solar in particular?


Maureen Hinman [00:42:50] Yes, the tariff situation is it’s is sweeping vis a vis the solar industry at the U.S. and China. So in the let’s say, 2015, we had an implementation of a series of of of tariff actions against China on solar that, you know, included anti-dumping which dealt with the actions of specific firms dumping in a market as well as countervailing duties which dealt with the subsidy of the legal subsidies. So we have these EDCs, as they’re called, and trade.


Jason Bordoff [00:43:22] Dumping, meaning like producers are selling stuff for cheaper than they should.


Maureen Hinman [00:43:25] That’s exactly right. Yes.


Jason Bordoff [00:43:27] Cost of production.


Maureen Hinman [00:43:27] Precisely undercutting in a market. The dumping as the concept around dumping is that you’re not allowed to sell something in a foreign market for less than you sell it in your own market. Right. So there’s an etiquette duties that were put in place. And then the.


Jason Bordoff [00:43:43] The response to.


Maureen Hinman [00:43:44] That was the response to dumping. Right. And the response to subsidies. And so the and you often see this with China. If you look at USAID’s CBD duties, there’s almost always a dumping duty and a countervailing duty because there’s so much government involvement in, in in in production there. So the there was a quite a bit of circumvention, not surprisingly. And during the Trump administration there was implementation of something called a global 201, which is global safeguard tariffs on silver products.


Jason Bordoff [00:44:15] Circumvention is this idea that China would take the cheap stuff and like put a sticker on it in Vietnam and pretend it was made somewhere else.


Maureen Hinman [00:44:21] That’s precisely right. Yeah. Or even just that. Set up a set up a facility, let’s say, in Malaysia and ship in Chinese workers and Chinese materials. And it’s not really, you know, it’s not really a malaysian product. It’s basically like you picked up a Chinese facility and dropped it in Malaysia. Right. And you control the pricing and the inputs and everything. So that was that was kind of part of the problem. So they implement this global safeguard measure. So that’s kind of where we’re at with tariffs. And then there was obviously, of course, there was this, you know, intellectual property rights investigation of the Trump administration’s part called the 301. And whenever people say the Trump tariffs are usually talking about the 3001 because it was this very sweeping tariffs across many, many, many, many sectors. Right. So there’s these multiple layers of tariffs on top of solar panels that have made them more expensive or and with the intention of leveling the playing field so U.S. producers can continue to produce solar. And just to mention on the 201, which was the global safeguard, the global measure that was just about solar, the U.S. did something really clever. So instead of having a straight tariff amount, we had something called in the trades called the TR Q a tariff rate quota, which meant that continuously the ITC was looking at how much demand there was for panels in the U.S. and how much reasonably the US could supply itself. Right. And so after up to a certain point, those panels came in with normal duties and once we hit the threshold in order to start doing implementing more domestic supply, the tariff rate goes up, right? Tariff rate quota. Right. It’s quotas. This is all very different than the US play. We are Force Protection Labor Act very different than that because that’s not a tariff at all. That is a ban on trade. So there are there are many gigawatts of solar panels sitting in U.S. customs facilities to this day because the people who imported them or produced them cannot prove to the government that those panels were meant were manufactured in a way that was that was not that that did not include forced labor in any way, shape or form. And that’s from the silicon itself, a lot of it, which is comes from Shenzhen all the way up to the to the final panel. So the ufp is a you know, it’s always been illegal to import things into the United States that were produced with slave labor or with forced labor. It’s also illegal to import things that were produced with child labor. Right. We we think these are arguably good. But have you’ve play changed the balance a little bit because it used to be really the government’s job to investigate these things and then, you know, stopped shipments after the fact or go after producers after the fact. So you have you have a switch, the burden of proof on to the importer themselves. So they have to prove that their materials were and their and their technologies and products and everything else. We’re not the subject of forced labor. And so you kind of have this entities of concern last, you’ve got all these, you know, gigawatts of solar are kind of stuck in customs. You know, arguably I think that there is this kind of leads to a broader discussion about where we want to sit on the moral sort of spectrum of the clean transition. I personally don’t believe that you have to that that that a cheap panel that was produced in the from human suffering is okay. There’s lots of ways for us to produce the technologies we need in ways that respect our humanity. And I think it’s kind of a false choice if that you either have a cheap panels to solve climate change or you you need to respect human rights. Those those conflicts are going to exist in every global economic transition. And we need to be able to be upfront about transitioning as fast as possible with our values and our morality intact.


Jason Bordoff [00:48:17] There’s a really helpful overview. I do think that’s hard to keep track of sometimes when people talk about tariffs on Chinese solar. But as you said, really clearly, you know, there’s a lot of different things going on. There’s violation or there’s unfair trade practices. There’s subsidies that may be illegal. There’s cheating for certain rules that have been or measures tariffs that have been put in place. And then there’s concerns about forced labor and all of these kind of. Are all happening at the same time. So so as a matter of law, commerce has to figure a lot of this out as a matter of trade law and also as, I guess, a matter of good policy, you know, for an administration that cares about climate and also cares about forced labor and many of the things you just said and very powerfully, you know, just help me understand how this where does this go from here? What does it mean for the cost of solar? Obviously, it takes a long time to build up a domestic manufacturing supply chain, but some of that is happening, too. What happens from this point forward and what will it mean for. The outlook for solar in the U.S.?


Maureen Hinman [00:49:27] Yes. So if you look at the the 201, which was that kind of global safeguard, and that was the final sort of tariff measure, the U.S. was still importing a lot of panels from China and elsewhere. And most of the planned projects were still going into place. There was no projects, to my knowledge, that were delayed or put off. I think the U.S. FPL has thrown into disarray because. Panels that actually made their way all all the way across the Pacific and, you know, made entry at port are now stuck at port. Solar is not the only climate solution out there. We know we’re going to need a lot of solar, but we’re going to do a lot of other things and don’t need them quickly. Right. So I don’t lose a lot of sleep over the solar industry. I lose a lot of sleep over some of the questions around the critical supply chain, whether they’re going to have enough of all of the things. Right, enough steel, enough aluminum, enough copper, enough cobalt, enough nickel to actually build all the things we need to build and build it in an efficient way. Right. So if you want to have a lot of intermittent sources, that means a lot of transmission infrastructure that I’m just not sure we have the ability to, you know, put aside some of the questions around, you know, legally being able to build that across states in the United States, but also just like the actual physical materials. Are we going to be able to get that at a high enough quality quick enough to solve the issue? Right. And then you also have these sort of like tradeoff questions, right? Is it, you know, how much how much mining are we willing to tolerate? How much how if you’re where we’re trying to put a lot of steel in the ground quickly, or is that steel going to be clean steel? There’s a lot of there’s a lot of interesting tensions that I think arise. And so the solar industry is always a wonderful case study on kind of how things can go wrong. Right. And and and can be improved. Right. But this is certainly playing out across every single vertical inside the the clean tech and the clean tech sort of matrix.


Jason Bordoff [00:51:30] The other thing we used to talk more about and that you worked on was that the U.S. pressed for a new WTO agreement on environmental goods and services for many years. Where does that conversation stand? Is that likely necessary?


Maureen Hinman [00:51:42] It’s super necessary. It is not very likely so And right now, we haven’t had any sort of formal discussions since IGA collapsed in December of 2016. And so it’s kind of it’s kind of on hold. Currently, the United States does not have trade promotion authority. So in the previous trade promotion authority bill or law of the U.S., we had this thing called proclamation authority. So the president could literally just like wave as his his presidential pen and could strike down tariffs. Furthermore, we have some problematic sort of questions from other partners, in particular the EU, about what constitutes an environmental good, right? There’s lots of different ways to define these things. And now the EU has kind of been hinting that they believe everything that qualifies for their green product. Passport is an environmental good and everything is not that does not qualify for their green product passport, which is regulatory regime inside the EU that’s emerging is going to be out which is makes it really difficult to negotiate a deal if you’re if you’re not coming in with it, you’re coming in with it with a very narrow regulatory view on on what is what’s clean tech and what’s not or what’s green and what’s not. So I think the way forward is actually to really think about ways that we can define what the value of trade is in this sort of clean transition and lowering the cost of those technologies. So, for instance, you know, previously. We defined them in four or five different ways, right? We’d say like, okay, everything that’s made of a certain fiber is is clean, right? And we meaning like the global community, not necessarily the United States. Solar panels and all other clean energy technologies are clean should be in a green goods list. Environmental products like water filters should be on environmental goods list. Right. Clean transportation. Bicycles should be on the environmental agreements list. I take it to kind of a different view now, having lived through the entirety of that negotiation and seen, you know, known that we were very close to closing a deal. I think that we should really look at what the value of actually trading these goods provides the environment. So, for instance, if you eliminate tariffs on, let’s say, bicycles, will it lead to more bicycle commuters or will it lead to a switch in the origin of who’s producing your bicycle? If it’s the former, great, it should be on a list. If it’s the latter, then it probably isn’t a good candidate. Right. So if the elimination of that tariff leads to more trade and lower prices and more consumption of the environmental product, where you can actually tie it to an environmental outcome or a climate outcome, I think that’s we can do these types of assessments. We we already do it for every U.S. tariff agreement that’s negotiated. We do something called the probable economic effects study. And that study is is it tells you kind of what what’s the anticipated outcome of of of any given reduction in tariffs. So we can do that same thing basically for environment if we anticipate that it will raise demand globally and more, you’ll have more consumers. They have water filters or wind turbines. Great. We should have that on an environmental goods list. If you have if you if you just have the sort of origins such as maybe not or if nothing happens, maybe not. Right. And so this is, I think, a kind of a way forward in a issue area that is really a to me is that is the is the bellwether of whether the WTO can actually work on environmental issues or not, because the words you know, the word tariff is actually in the title of the of the treaty. And so if the global General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade can not eliminate tariffs on environmental goods, there are some reasonable questions about whether the WTO should be talking about climate environment at all.


Jason Bordoff [00:55:28] We need to let you go. But just very quickly, the we’ve talked about a lot of different things in the last hour. I suspect depending on what happens in the next presidential election approaches, the climate might look pretty different on the questions we’ve been talking about tariffs and trade. Where do you think the most important differences are going to be, depending on which parties and maybe where things might look kind of the same regardless of who’s in power?


Maureen Hinman [00:55:52] Well, I’m extremely enthusiastic about U.S. border adjustment, I think, because there’s a strong sort of emerging bipartisan convergence on car on a U.S. carbon border adjustment. And again, as I kind of said at the top, this is one of those things where we’re able to prove to U.S. manufacturers if we implement our own highly functional border adjustment and or collusion fee, that we are going to hold importers to the same standard we expect our U.S. producers. That creates a lot of comfort for doing other things. So I would expect that I would expect that the border adjustment and pollution fears to become broadly by.


Jason Bordoff [00:56:31] Just tell me and that’s legal in your view, under the WTO. If in our policy approach we’re subsidizing the decarbonization, but on the importer, we’re taxing them and imposing a cost on them.


Maureen Hinman [00:56:42] Yeah. So if you were to weigh that, the way to do that specific thing would be to look at what the cost of compliance is. For those marginal differences and to price it out based on the cost of compliance.


Jason Bordoff [00:56:56] Right. I’m just saying it’s hard to argue you’re leveling the playing field. It’s a competitive advantage from a U.S. producer, to be clear. Right. Yeah.


Maureen Hinman [00:57:02] Yes. Yeah. Well, I mean, you know, you and I were in Norway last week before last, and we saw a key U.S. facility that was heavily subsidized. Right. And so we have to think we have to think about ways to kind of zero out those columns. And, you know, the good news is that trade is really built for this kind of thing about kind of putting things in different columns, quantifying them and figuring out what the marginal differences and what the tax is going to be. Right. So at any rate, so I think there’s a lot of there’s a lot of there’s a lot of hope for carbon border adjustment in the United States that will look very different than than the U.S. policies and fail at that. Well, at the you know, the the legal mechanisms of the WTO sort that out at some later date when we’re all we’re all green and happy. But so I think there’s a lot of potential there that I also think that there is going to be growing potential for market access and for more sort of deals with partners and friends. I think that has a lot more to do with our geopolitical situation than anything else. But once you have a little bit more, you know, so a little bit more muscular sort of trade, you know, remedies and trade defense rules in place, that kind of creates a glide path to to have a little bit more market access. You know, Democrats famously have this sort of, you know, very well tread pattern of not doing that all that much, you know, for the first couple of years and then getting really ambitious towards the end of their administrations on on market access, Republicans tend to kind of go out of the gate running, but then kind of damp in towards the end of their administrations. And so you can see why we, you know, across administrations, we have these periods of kind of these liminal phases of very little action on trade. And then there’s there’s this these wild sprints to try and get things done as fast as possible.


Jason Bordoff [00:58:44] Incredibly interesting. I remember I think international trade was one of my favorite courses in law school, so maybe that was another path I could have chosen. So all of this is complicated but fascinating and hugely important for geopolitical stability, for our diplomatic relations, and for the ability to accelerate decarbonization and the clean energy transition. So thanks for explaining to all of us, Maureen, him.


Maureen Hinman [00:59:06] And my absolute pleasure. Thanks.


Jason Bordoff [00:59:12] Thank you again, Maureen Hinman. And thank you for listening to this week’s episode of Columbia Energy Exchange. The show is brought to you by the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. The show was hosted by me, Jason Bordoff, and by Bill Loveless. The show is produced by Stephen Lacy and Aaron Hardwick from Post-Script Media. Additional support from Jon Elkind, Gautam Jain, Saggar Tom Sahar, Daniel Prop, Natalie Voke, Lilly Lee and Q Lee. Roy Campanella engineered the show. For more information about the podcast for the Center on Global Energy Policy, visit us online at Energy Policy, Columbia Dot edu or follow us on social media at Columbia U Energy. And please, if you feel inclined, give us a reading on Apple Podcasts. It really helps us out. Thanks again for listening. We’ll see you next week.

Around the world, green industrial policy is driving a surge of new investment into clean energy. This is good news for the climate, but it puts the international trading system under intense strain. 

As countries around the world vie for influence over the growing market for clean energy, new fault lines are emerging and old rivalries are re-igniting. With energy security still top of mind, policymakers face the difficult task of balancing access to an open market against control over the energy supply chains of the future. The risks of failure are immense—a fractured global market could slow clean energy uptake, which is vital for solving the ever-worsening climate crisis. 

What risks do trade tensions pose for the energy transition? What are the major areas of dispute? And how can policymakers improve the global trading system to support rapid clean energy growth?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Maureen Hinman about the challenges facing global clean energy trade.

Maureen is the co-founder and executive chair of Silverado Policy Accelerator, a nonprofit organization that uses a venture capital approach to address policy challenges in cybersecurity, trade, geopolitics, and energy. 

Before founding Silverado, she served as director for Environment and Natural Resources at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, where she led a range of trade policy initiatives focused on natural resource conservation. She has also served as the U.S. Department of Commerce’s senior industry trade specialist and as a consultant for Nathan Associates.

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