Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics
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This study evaluates the implications of an actual carbon tax on international trade in the agricultural sector. Applying uniformly to all fossil fuels combusted within its borders, the province of British Columbia unilaterally introduced a carbon tax on July 1, 2008. In 2012, the province granted an exemption from the tax to certain agricultural sectors. Using commodity specific trade flows and exploiting cross-provincial and inter-temporal variation, we find little evidence that the carbon tax is associated with any meaningful effects on agricultural trade despite the sector being singled out as “at risk” by the provincial government. Our findings suggest that there is not compelling evidence to support exempting the agricultural sector from the tax. Discussion of potential policy remedies to address the tax’s potential effects on firm profitability and international competitiveness is also included.