Trump’s denial of Paris climate agreement; the US Republicans lash out against the world

President Trump making a statement regarding the Paris Accord. June 1, 2017, The White House. (Snapshot from a video; US government work).

Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the UN Paris Climate Agreement is a major foreign policy step, rather difficult to understand. For one thing, the American environmental industry technologically spearheads the world in this domain. The US is a global leader in electric vehicles production, where mainstream vehicles are one of the major contributors to air pollution. The reason given by Trump to justify this move – that he wants to support the US steel and carbon sector was in a few hours shot down. He said, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris”. However, the mayor of Pittsburgh, in the heart of the American steel and coal industry, Bill Peduto, answered that his city is to wholeheartedly apply the Paris agreement. Then why did Trump take this monstrous step?

It’s true that he had promised so to his voters. Then again, he has promised even more important things and did exactly the opposite. He was elected as the President of the ‘left behind’ Americans. Instead of taking care of them, he did what he could to make the New York bankers immensely richer. Then, his first choice for Labor Secretary was Andrew Puzder, the most callous American employer. Puzder was obliged to withdraw because even the conservative Republican lawmakers refused to endorse him, due to his anti-labor opinions. Trump also appointed as education Secretary an enemy of the state schooling and university systems, which is the only way for the underprivileged to ascend the social ladder. Then why oblige his voters in Pittsburgh? Let’s dig a bit into it.

The whole world disagreed

In many ways, Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement was not an internal American affair. It was more of a major Washington’s foreign policy ‘pronunciamiento’, against the entire world. Not a sole country, of the 197 parties that have signed the Paris Agreement followed Trump’s step. His decision was not supported either by any major US trade union not even by the American fossil carburant industry or the heavy manufacturing business, in favor of whom he supposedly acted.

Apart from the technology giants like Google, Apple, Tesla, Facebook , Uber, Amazon, IBM and others, more CEOs from key corporations strongly opposed Trump’s decision. ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, General Electric and even the mammoth banking group Goldman Sachs Group regretted the decision. So, it was not corporate America who wanted to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

No need to mention that all the 147 countries of the world, which have already ratified the environmental pact reacted negatively (the signatories parties are 197). Reactions from leaders of major economies like China, Japan, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Britain and Canada ranged from overwhelm to anger. Reading the Press releases aired by the bigger three EU countries (Germany, France and Italy) or by Japan and China in response to Washington’s announcement, one understands that they feel like being ruthlessly attacked where it hurts. More precisely, EU and China must have sensed that Trump was aiming directly at them, with his appalling comments while presenting the withdrawal. They responded by issuing their first ever joint statement, pledging full implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Only the Republicans agreed

The only positive comments about this Trump’s incomprehensible act came from Mitch McConnell, the leader of the US Senate Republican Majority, a group of lawmakers this is currently the most powerful body of the world. He congratulated Trump “for dealing yet another significant blow to the Obama administration’s assault on domestic energy production and jobs.” This is a deeply divisive statement urging the autocratic Republican US President, to apply all his powers against the other half of America and of course in direct opposition to the rest of the world.

It’s as if Obama was a traitor, serving the rest of the world to undermine the ‘American jobs’. Schematically, one could term those two parts of America as the ‘people’ and the ‘elites’. But who are the elites, if not the technology giants and the New York Banks, which have already opposed the withdrawal?

Who are served?

McConnell knows it best. An outside observer though can detect what McConnell represents. He is a product of the Republican establishment, representing the inner power circles of Washington, which are traditionally closely tied with the military-industrial complex and the inner administration structures. This is currently McConnell’s part of America, which has been brought to power by the semi-fascist, super-neoliberal ‘tea parties’ groups. That’s why the Republican establishment has gone as far as altogether rejecting the role of the Inland Revenue Authority and has repudiated the obligation of income taxation.

In relation to the rest of the world, they demonstrate an obviously imperialist attitude, disapproving even of the United Nations. Their super-neoliberal ideology preaches the law of the jungle internally and globally, where the more powerful prevail and the weak are good only to serve as helots. Last year, after the 8 November election they won the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House and they are presently omnipotent.

Who controls Trump?

They also very effectively control Donald Trump, with four independent investigations against him, for his alleged relations with Russia. The House, the Senate, the FBI, and the independent investigator Robert Muller all keep examining Trump and his close aids even for treason, with the impeachment threat clearly appearing in the horizon. The fact that the Republicans have sure allies the Democrats, in whatever they decide against Trump, has created a real Damoclean Sword above the head of the President.

In conclusion, the force and the clarity of McConnell’s statement regarding the abandonment of the Paris Agreement, is a Republican pronouncement about what they plan for our brave new world. It’s as if they tell the rest of the globe, ‘We will go on polluting as much as we like and you have to clean up the mess, as you did in the last financial crisis’.

It’s a US foreign policy plan, which is reserves for the rest of the world a servant position for the interests of the US, without any checks and controls from the UN, the World Trade Organization, the G7 or the G20. The question is, if the Democrats and corporate America – apart from the inward looking military-industrial complex – with vital vested interests in the rest of the world, are to cooperate in such a plan. For the time being they do not.

 

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