In a move that only hastens America’s retreat from global political and economic leadership, it is now apparent that President Trump will withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
First and foremost, withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is the wrong move.
As a dealmaker, President Trump may very well have been able to renegotiate within the parameters of the Agreement, but to be clear, withdrawing from the Paris Agreement isolates the United States and only threatens our most important national interests.
Trump’s move to withdraw of course also comes after his week abroad in Europe, where the President of the United States unmistakably failed to endorse Article 5 of the NATO treaty, unfortunately leaving our generations-old allies to question America’s commitments.
I reference the NATO treaty here, a hallmark of our post-war global order, alongside the Paris Agreement because the two treaties share an essential detail:
That is, they both were designed to uniquely communicate to our allies that, regardless of transitions of power between US administrations, America keeps her word.
Unfortunately, Trump’s likely move to withdraw does much to threaten the integrity of our international commitments.
R. Nicholas Burns, a former Under Secretary of State in the administration of George W. Bush, has stated that, in terms of leaving the Agreement, “I can’t think of anything more destructive to our credibility.”
Specifically, withdrawal from the Agreement jeopardizes our relationship with multiple strategic allies at a time when diplomatic relationships are already weak.
Just days ago, without mincing her words, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “The times in which we could rely fully on others—they are somewhat over,” after what she described as a disappointing discussion over climate policy at a contentious G7 meeting in Italy.
The U.S. departure from the Paris Agreement also creates a far-reaching leadership void that none other than our chief economic rivals will swiftly fill.
The renewable energy industry will reach a value of $6 trillion dollars in the coming decades, yet the Trump administration seems poised to forfeit America’s global lead in the industry to China.
Unlike President Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed the importance of collaborating with foreign leaders on the issue of climate change and has recently taken up the issue alongside the newly-elected French President, Emmanuel Macron.
Most importantly, at home, withdrawing from the Paris Agreement does nothing to create new jobs for Trump’s most loyal supporters and only further divides our nation.
The consequences of this division, deepened by Trump’s latest move, further delay any semblance of a pro-growth economic agenda, including making critically-needed infrastructure investments, providing tax relief to the middle class, and fixing the broken health care market which costs American households tens of thousands of dollars each year.
The Trump Administration must not ignore the American people’s concerns and must instead actually work toward implementing a forward-seeking agenda that allows President Trump to keep the promises he made to hardworking Americans as well as keep America’s promises to her allies.