TAMPA, Fla. — National Republican party officials on Wednesday put their party officially on record opposing United Nations' attempts, some backed by Democrats in Congress, to assess a special tax on Americans and give the money to Third World nations.
In a resolution, the Republican National Committee made clear its objection to "three global taxes and a global monetary governance mechanism to raise $400 billion a year to aid developing countries."
The move also could have the practical effect of complicating the ability of the U.S. to participate in such international accords as the Law of the Sea Treaty, which the U.S. Senate has never ratified, and successor agreements to the Kyoto global-warming pact.
The resolution, passed in a meeting leading up to next week's presidential nominating convention, cites in particular reports that Ottmar Edenhofer, an official with the U.N.'s major international panel dealing with climate-change issues, "claimed that climate-change policy was a way to redistribute wealth globally."
It puts the national GOP in the center of the global wealth-distribution controversy for the first time. The world body also has proposed a carbon tax, a currency transaction tax and a billionaires' tax, "as well as allocation of the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights," which have been proposed by some as a replacement for the U.S. dollar as the common currency all nations use for international trade.
The Congressional Budget Office issued a report earlier this year asserting that the financial transactions tax could kill jobs in the U.S. Such a move, financial experts say, could also undermine the nation's long-standing role as the dominant global financial power.
The transaction tax was sponsored by Rep. Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon and Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, both liberal Democrats, late in 2011. Citing similar taxes imposed in Europe, the two said the measure could raise revenue for the Treasury while simultaneously curbing excessive financial market speculation.
"The first step on the long path to recovery happens when we rein in the excessive speculative activity that has destabilized our financial system," Mr. DeFazio said at the time.
Republicans here said the tax could cause American stock traders to move their businesses offshore and create ways to avoid the tax.
Approved by the standing resolutions committee, the document will be presented to the full 168-member RNC for approval Thursday.
"The United Nations has not evidenced its capability to properly handle foreign aid and has in face been shown to be wasteful and scandal-ridden, " the GOP resolution notes.
The resolution's sponsor, Demetra DeMonte, an RNC member from Illinois and a founding member of the RNC's Conservative Caucus, said the U.N. appears bent on encroaching on U.S. sovereignty.
Jeff Grossman, a delegate-at-large to the national convention, said he "wished the resolution had gone further."
"In truth, the U.N. has no authority to impose a tax on the citizens of the United States," said Mr. Grossman, who supported Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential primaries.
He argued that the GOP must take the stand it did Wednesday because "it would be a violation of America's sovereignty and of the Constitution to ratify such a tax."
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Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
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