‘I represent the people of Pittsburgh NOT Paris’: Trump pulls U.S. out of climate accord saying it is a foreign attempt to seize American jobs and American wealth – and is immediately attacked by Obama.
By Francesca Chambers
Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris accord on climate change on Wednesday afternoon – deriding it as bad for American jobs and bad for the environment.
He dared opprobrium from foreign leaders, environmentalists, scientists and celebrities to say he was putting the jobs of American workers first.
‘We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us any more. And they won’t be. They won’t be,’ Trump declared. ‘I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.’
Before he even sat down, his predecessor Barack Obama launched an all-out assault, saying Trump ‘joins a small handful of nations that reject the future’.
Elon Musk, the Tesla billionaire, said he was quitting advising the White House, tweeting: ‘Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.’
America first: Trump was unrepentant in saying he was standing up for U.S. interests
Trump complained in the White House’s Rose Garden that major polluters like China are allowed to increase their emissions under the agreement in a way that the US cannot. India is hinging its participation on billions of dollars of foreign aid.
The deal is a ‘massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries,’ he said.
‘The Paris accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.
‘This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States,’ Trump said.
TRUMP’S KEY WORDS ON CLIMATE DEAL
On the accord…
As of today the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.
This includes ending the implementation of the National Determined Contribution and – very importantly – the Green Climate Fund, which is costing the United States a vast fortune.
The bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.
On its cost…
Compliance…could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, according to the National Rconomic Research Associates.
The cost to the economy at this time [by 2050] would be close to $3 trillion in lost GDP and 6.5 million industrial jobs, while households would have $7,000 less income and in many cases much worse than that.
The Paris Agreement handicaps the United States economy in order to win praise from the very foreign capitals and global activists that have long sought to gain wealth at our country’s expense.
They don’t put America first. I do and I always will.
The same nations asking us to stay in the agreement are the countries that have collectively cost America trillions of dollars through tough trade practices, and in many cases, lax contributions to our critical military alliance.
What he wants now…
We want fair treatment for its citizens and we want fair treatment for our taxpayers.
We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore. And they won’t be. They won’t be.
Trump said he would also end the United States’ participation in the United Nations‘ Green Climate Fund.
In a slap at European leaders who’d lobbied him last week, including France’s Emmanuel Macron, Trump said the Paris exit is ‘a reassertion of America’s sovereignty.’
‘Foreign leaders in Europe, Asia and across the world should not have more to say with respect to the United States economy that our own citizens and their elected representatives,’ Trump proclaimed.
Trump told off naysayers in a lengthy explanation of his decision and the effect he expects it to have on the US economy.
‘The Paris Agreement handicaps the United States economy in order to win praise from the very foreign capitals and global activists that have long sought to gain wealth at our country’s expense. They don’t put America first. I do and I always will,’ he said.
He outlined what he said the accord would do to the American economy: 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025; $3 trillion in lost GDP by 2050; and an average household income loss of $7,000.
Trump said he would be willing to get back in but only if he is allowed to renegotiate the terms of the United States’ participation.
Among Trump’s reasons for leaving the accord was the ‘massive legal liability’ that administration lawyers had warned him about.
The Republican president also said he could not support the agreement ‘in good conscience,’ from an environmental stand point, either, ‘as someone who cares deeply the environment, which I do,’ because it is non-binding.
It imposes ‘no meaningful obligations on the world’s leading polluters,’ Trump said – naming India and China as countries which could ‘do what they like;.,
Sitting in the front row for Trump’s outdoor announcement chief strategist Steve Bannon, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Vice President Mike Pence – all of whom were part of a push to leave the agreement.
Trump ended months of speculation in an afternoon Rose Garden event promoted with all the anticipation of a major press conference.
He sided with conservative groups over world leaders and his daughter Ivanka, declaring that the accord poses a dire threat to the American economy and jobs market.
She was not there to see more conservative advisers applaud loudly as he said the United States was out of the treaty. Neither was her husband, Jared Kushner, one of his closest aides, who had also been said to have lobbied to stay in.
The White House tipped its hand just an hour before the president spoke, when it distributed a set of ‘talking points’ to allied organizations that proclaimed, ‘The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President’s action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first.’
The document says the US is exiting the international climate accord because it is in the best interest of US economy.
A successful businessman before he was elected, Trump has already taken steps to end the ‘job-killing’ regulations his predecessor enacted in order to bring the US in line with the environmental pact.
In a May 26, 2016 speech to a gas- and oil-friendly crowd in Bismarck, North Dakota, he declared flatly: ‘We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement.’
Trump also said then that if he were elected he would stop making payments to United Nations programs that fight global warming.
The talking points the White House gave to conservative organizations on Thursday said, ‘The Accord was negotiated poorly by the Obama Administration and signed out of desperation.’
‘It frontloads costs on the American people to the detriment of our economy and job growth while extracting meaningless commitments from the world’s top global emitters, like China. The U.S. is already leading the world in energy production and doesn’t need a bad deal that will harm American workers.’
Trump, the most unpredictable U.S. president in a century, performed as expected despite sending signals of ambivalence about his yes-or-no decision during the week and telling reporters that he was ‘hearing from a lot of people, both ways.’
Asked if America would be in or out, Trump would only say: ‘You’re going to find out very soon.’
European allies had begged Trump not to ditch the pact last week, and the White House said the president was considering their position.
When White House sources said he was pulling out on Wednesday morning, the reports set off worldwide condemnation led by the United Nations secretary general.
The Vatican called the move a ‘slap in the face’ before it was announced.
Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said: ‘If he really does [pull out], it would be a huge slap in the face for us. It will be a disaster for everyone.’
Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, Gap, Mars and Tiffany & Co. joined a group of large businesses in publishing an open letter to Trump asking him not to end the United States participation in the global warming agreement.
Their ask ran as a full page ad in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
Lakely said Thursday that there were four possible outcomes of Trump’s deliberations – including a pullout that could spark lawsuits and an end-run involving sending the treaty to the U.S. Senate for ratification.
‘The Senate fails to get the two-thirds votes necessary to ratify the treaty, and it’s really dead, instantly,’ he said.
Emmanuel Macron, the newly elected French president, said at a weekend summit in Italy he was sure Trump would back the deal after listening to his G7 counterparts.