Tuesday, November 15, 2005

EnergyStar as a non-tariff barrier

As you've heard, I'm not impressed with "EnergyStar" labels on appliances. EnerGuide, on the other hand, tells me what I need to know.

It sounds like energy efficiency labelling is being challenged at the WTO. What isn't clear to me is the breadth of the challenge. If they're only going after EnergyStar and similar programs, I'd have to wonder: maybe this challenge is a good thing. If they're going after EnerGuide and other programs that simply disclose facts about energy use, that's another story. If your product is inferior, don't blame the label, and try to call it a "non-tariff barrier." The inferiority is the barrier, as it should be.

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