Donald Trump’s threats to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement became reality last Thursday. The landmark deal to battle climate change was signed in 2015 and included 195 countries as members. Throughout the negotiations, each country decided its and contribution and agreed to report such data. Although, there is no enforcement of a specific date each country must begin to abide by the set standards. Ultimately, Trump saw holes in the agreement and pulled the plug on the U.S membership leaving American companies and international members wondering what is next.
One of the main reasons President Trump pulled out of the agreement was due to his beliefs it would cost American workers their jobs. For this reason, he stated, “I was elected by the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” This echoes the sentiment that the agreement would destroy jobs in the coal and steel industry and a loss of 2.5 trillion dollars over 10 years. Even so, many of the CEO’s of energy companies were begging him to remain in the deal as they see the future lies in clean energy. In addition, many had been lobbying for America to remain a member of the agreement because so they can invest in clean energy and be the ones to sell the technology.
Possible Trade War
So what does this political move mean for the average American? Consequently, reports are looming over a possible a trade war which would raise prices on goods. Of course, it is not a part of the agreement that a non-member will receive higher tariffs on exports. Be that as it may, if the U.S increases carbon emissions it will face taxes that already exists in places such as the E.U. This in turn could trade into a metaphorical battle ground for not only money, leadership, but also ideology. Mexican undersecretary for environmental policy and planning Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo did not dismiss the possibility of a carbon tariff against U.S imports. In fact, he said it would be a serious option for Mexico. He was quoted saying, “We will apply any kind of policy necessary to defend the quality of life for our people, to protect our environment and to protect our industries,” he said.
The exit of The United States from the Paris Agreement may be cause for restructuring of trade policies around the world. First and foremost, this affects business owners who deal with international entities and citizens who may find their costs on goods raising in years to come. There are pros and cons to remaining and exiting the Paris Agreement. For now, keeping a trade war at bay will be on top of the list of concern for the administration and citizens alike.