No Deal Or New Deal?
President Donald Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement this afternoon on the White House lawn. He called for a “new deal” that is more fair to the US economy, the latest symbolic move to reinstate national sovereignty amidst a globalized world.
The current agreement places restrictions on US economic activities as well as require the US to fork over monetary aid to underdeveloped countries.
“The US citizens and their representatives should have more say in the matter than foreign countries,” Trump said, “It’s a reinstatement of our sovereignty.”
Current agreements set by the Obama administration put the US at an economic disadvantage, redistribute America’s wealth to other nations, and do not have a significant effect on climate change, according to current President Trump.
Trump estimates the agreement could cost the US 2.7 million jobs by 2025, according to his un-cited National Economic Resource Associates research.
He also pointed out that the agreement would cut production for a wide range of business sectors over the long-term. The real loser in this agreement appears to be the coal industry, more so than natural gas or any other industry.
“By 2040, compliance put in place by the previous administration would cut production for the following sectors: paper down 12 percent, cement down 23 percent, iron and steel down 38 percent, coal down 86 percent, natural gas down 31 percent” resulting in a cost of the $3 trillion in lost GDP, 6.5 million lost industrial jobs, and average $7,000 decrease in income per household.
While Trump contends the agreement would hamstring American production, he points to alleged unfairness when comparing conditions imposed on other countries.
“Under the agreement, China will be able to increase its emissions by a staggering number of years, 13,” Trump said, “India makes its participation contingent upon receiving billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries.”
The president said these conditions will allow India to double coal production by 2020. Other countries like China are allowed to increase coal production under the agreement.
Trump likened the agreement to a sort of global Marxism, whereby wealth and jobs are transferred out of the US and into other countries. Even worse, it would allegedly have no impact on the climate.
“The agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and ships them to foreign countries,” said Trump.
Beyond the energy restrictions imposed on the US, Trump said the agreement includes “another scheme to redistribute wealth out of the United States through the so-called ‘Green Climate Fund’ which calls for developed countries to send 100 billion dollars to undeveloping countries – all on top of America’s existing foreign aid payments”.
He argues that it makes little sense to invest in other countries when the US is $20 trillion in debt and unable to adequately invest in its own infrastructure.
“Even if the Paris agreement were implemented in full with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce two-tenths of one degree Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100,” Trump said, pointing out that just 14 days of carbon emissions from China alone would wipe out the gains from America’s expected reductions in the year 2030.
It should be noted that Trump did not point out is the massive disparity in population between the US and other nations like China and India that likely plays a role in energy needs.
The US ranks third in world population with 311.1 million people – a distant third – compared to China at 1.34 billion and India at 1.19 billion.
Regardless, Trump resolved to renegotiate the terms of the agreement and to work with Democratic leaders to reach a compromise.
“The Paris framework is just a starting point. Not an end point,” he said.
Scott Pruitt, former OK Attorney General and current EPA administrator, followed up Trump’s announcement by praising the move, calling it another fulfilled campaign promise from the administration.