True to his word even though under heavy pressure, President Trump yesterday announced that the U.S. will not be a party to this highly questionable agreement. He did that in spite of counsel he received from members of the inner-sanctum, as well as pressure from some of the heavy hitters in the business community.
Trump was lobbied by daughter Ivanka who favored this accord (while her hubby Jared Kushner lobbied against this treaty), by Apple’s CEO, and by Tesla’s Elon Musk. He was lobbied, if you can call it that as we’ll discuss, by France’s President Emmanuel Macron and by Germany’s Angela Merkel. The heat was on the President who had promised he’d do this if elected. This was generally a liberal vs. conservative decision and the President went with the conservative argument that this accord was not worth the paper on which it was written for the U.S.
This had been his position from the start, and he maintained that position. He had called this a bad deal all along and even with heavy hitters wading in to cause him to change his mind, he lived up to his campaign pledge. Six of the Group of Seven were all over Trump during that group’s meeting but he refused to reverse course. He saw this as a bad deal for the U.S. from the start and held fast to that position during the onslaught of lobbying.
This also involved ‘the handshake’ between Macron of France and Trump where Macron was white-knuckled as he kept hs grip on Trump’s hand for a long time for a simple handshake. Macron is quoted as saying, “My handshake was not innocent”. Trump was supposedly taken aback by the “smack-talk” from Macron which I doubt would auger well for Macron in any future dealings. Sounds like Macron was a bit childish and that doesn’t fit a man at his level of influence.
There could be more fallout as this goes forward within our country where some of the ‘big boys’ of industry felt that they had been betrayed by our President. But, President Trump had seen this as a lopsided “very bad deal” for the United States and held to that position. I suspect that there may be another shot at some kind of Accord to take the place of the Paris Accord. Trump didn’t rule out moves against global warming nor did he leave the opinion that he felt that was necessarily a bogus argument. This was a bad deal no matter which side of that issue he is on. He obviously felt strongly about that and has shown all what he is likely to do in such cases.
Probably the most memorable line from the President in the Rose Garden announcement was this: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
Benjamin Zycher of the American Enterprise Institute indicated his belief as to how effective this Accord would be by saying: “even if Paris is fully implemented and you accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s model for how emissions affect global warming, it will produce a rounding error’s worth of decline in the global temperature by 2100: .17 of a degree Celsius.”
This, of course, is a remnant of the Obama Administration and was actually a treaty which he, Obama, called an Executive Agreement thus bypassing the Senate’s right to debate and vote before it became official. Now, maybe we can get on with getting on and work on a real treaty that is fair to all players and which can be approved by our Senate in keeping with the law of the land.
The carping by those world leaders who felt they’d gotten the better of the U.S. in this Accord falls on deaf ears. Trump knows a bad deal when he sees it and this qualified as a bad deal. He did what he said he’d do while on the campaign trail…another attribute of our new President.