posted on Dec, 12 2004 @ 11:58 PM
The Kyoto members can go to the WTO and impose sanctions due to the "competitive edge" gained by the US for remaining outside the international
framework. Although it is not a lock that the WTO would uphold sanctions, history suggests that refusal to either: (1) engage in the international
framework, or (2) take actions along a parallel track that are consistent with the actions of the international body, risks the WTO finding sanctions
As for the question of US strength, while we are a critical component of the free trade regime, I'm not sure that we are the end-all, be-all in it.
Europe's power certainly is on the rise, and I think American opposition to climate change policy has ticked off a large number of the world's
leaders. While "counter-balancing" via military power isn't feasible, even by the Chinese, in the short-term, an economic counter-hegemony is
certainly viable. Our dependency on international investment to check a total collapse of the dollar serves as evidence of this possibility.