If ever there was a case for tariffs this is it

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The New York Times reports:

President Obama on Sunday praised the energy bill passed by the House late last week as an “extraordinary first step,” but he spoke out against a provision that would impose trade penalties on countries that do not accept limits on global warming pollution.

“At a time when the economy worldwide is still deep in recession and we’ve seen a significant drop in global trade,” Mr. Obama said, “I think we have to be very careful about sending any protectionist signals out there.”

He added, “I think there may be other ways of doing it than with a tariff approach.”

Broadly speaking I don’t like tariffs. But I do see them as necessary in at least two cases, one to protect fledgling industries and two to stop free-riding.

Tariffs on those who will free-ride pollution targets seem pretty important to me.

Sorry Obama – I think you’ve got this one wrong.