It’s been a year since President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, and the landmark climate law appears to be working – at least for the U.S. Plans for new battery and electric-vehicle factories are creating tens of thousands of jobs across the supply chain and more than US$100 billion in industry investments on U.S. soil.

But to get those quick wins, U.S. lawmakers likely broke international trade rules. More than that, they may have broken the system, a team of energy and climate policy researchers write.

Rather than ignoring the risk that its buy-American rules will now accelerate trade barriers and protectionist policies around the globe, the U.S. has an opportunity – and arguably a responsibility – to lead the way in fixing old global trade rules to more effectively deal with climate change, write Noah Kaufman, Chris Bataille, Gautam Jain and Sagatom Saha.

Stacy Morford

Environment + Climate Editor, The Conversation U.S.

The US broke global trade rules to try to fix climate change – to finish the job, it has to fix the trade system

Noah Kaufman, Columbia University; Chris Bataille, Columbia University; Gautam Jain, Columbia University; Sagatom Saha, Columbia University

Joe Biden’s ‘buy American’ effort with EVs likely violated World Trade Organization rules that the US helped create. The US has an opportunity now to update the system – if it’s willing to take it.

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