The Conversation: Biden Could Hit Australia with Import Duties, to Punish Aussies for Coal Exports

Annual Value of Australian Coal ExportsAnnual Value of Australian Coal ExportsAnnual Value of Australian Coal Exports
Annual Value of Australian Coal Exports. Source Statista

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

More greens celebrating the punishment Biden will allegedly inflict on Australia; According to The Conversation, if Biden wins Australia will be punished for Australia’s climate complacency, and for profiting from coal exports.

Biden says the US will rejoin the Paris climate agreement in 77 days. Then Australia will really feel the heat

November 6, 2020 1.30pm AEDT

When the US formally left the Paris climate agreement, Joe Biden tweeted that “in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it”.

While diplomacy via Twitter looks here to stay, global climate politics is about to be upended — and the impacts will be felt at home in Australia if Biden delivers on his plans.

What does this mean for Australia?

For the last four years, the Trump administration has been a boon for successive Australian governments as they have torn up climate policies and failed to implement new ones.

Should the US start hitting Australian goods with a carbon fee at the border, you can bet Australian business won’t be happy, and Morrison may begin to re-think his domestic climate calculus.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/biden-says-the-us-will-rejoin-the-paris-climate-agreement-in-77-days-then-australia-will-really-feel-the-heat-149533

The Australian news media was solidly pro-Biden, just like the MSM in the USA. Many Australians would celebrate the demise of the Aussie coal industry. Australia’s chief scientist thinks Aussies should ditch coal, and go all in building infrastructure for a green hydrogen export market which does not exist.

But coal earned Australia just under $70 billion in export revenue in 2019, around $2800 for each Australian. In 2019 Australia had a global trade surplus of around $50 billion. Australia’s international purchasing power surplus sits on a knife edge.

I don’t think most Australians appreciate what this means in terms of their own personal quality of life.

If Australia’s coal industry was eliminated, or hammered into unprofitability by Biden imposed international carbon diplomacy, and if the export revenue from expensive green hydrogen for which there is currently no market somehow mysteriously failed to replace the lost export revenue from coal, Australia’s international purchasing power could plummet.

Australia has other valuable exports, so Australia’s international purchasing power would eventually stabilise – but at a significantly lower level than today.

All those imported toys like iPads and Tesla cars which Australia’s urban green elitists so love to own would suddenly get a whole lot more expensive. Along with the imported coffee they drink.

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November 7, 2020 at 12:19AM

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