US Political Leaders Deny Trump Rethinking Paris

18.09.2017 -

H.R. McMaster, national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, has denied that Trump is reconsidering his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord and possibly re-enter on newly negotiated terms.

Speaking to right-leaning US television network Fox News Sunday on Sept. 17, McMaster said recently published reports suggesting the administration might not pull out of the deal are “false.”

“The president decided to pull out of the Paris accord because it's a bad deal for the American people and it's a bad deal for the environment,” the retired general told Fox, but added that the door remains open to a better agreement down the road. Trump’s ears are open, if the other parties will agree to addresses the president's “very legitimate concerns,” he said.

Speaking to the ABC network’s This Week program, McMaster seemed to indicate more flexibility on the future of the US participation, US news reports said.

Altogether 195 countries were parties to the December 2015 pact, and up to now 146 have ratified it. Former US President Barack Obama added the US signature in September 2016 but left it to the new Congress elected in November to ratify the agreement.

In June of this year, Trump fulfilled a campaign pledge to withdraw within the three-year period foreseen while at the same time saying he could revisit the decision if the US could renegotiate terms he sees as unfair.

Interviewed on another CBS television’s “Face the Nation” program on Sept. 17, US Secretary of State – and former ExxonMobil CEO – Rex Tillerson – criticized the Paris climate accord for being "out of balance" for America and China, but said the Trump administration would look for ways to work with other countries on tackling climate “under the right conditions.”

In Tillerson’s words, said the administration is “willing to work with partners in the Paris climate accord if we can construct a set of terms that we believe is fair and balanced for the American people and recognizes our economy, our economic interests, relative to others, in particular the second-largest economy in the world, China. If you look at those targets in terms of the Paris climate accord, they were just really out of balance for the two largest economies.”

A new poll conducted for the newspaper Washington Post and the ABC network found that 59% of those interviewed opposed the withdrawal, with 28% supporting it.  The pollsters said reactions also broke down sharply along partisan lines, but Republicans were not as united in support of the withdrawal as Democrats were opposed to it.

The newspaper said the survey also found broad skepticism toward Trump’s argument that leaving the Paris agreement will benefit the US economy.