Trump attacks climate pact, accuses India, others of freeloading
“Our government rushed to join international agreement where the US bears the costs and bears the burden while other countries get the benefit and pay nothing and this includes deals like the one-sided Paris Climate Accord. where the US pays billions while China, Russia and India have contributed, and will contribute, nothing,” he said.Updated: Apr 30, 2017 22:27 IST
President Donald Trump celebrated 100 days in office Saturday with a campaign-type speech that will be parsed around world capitals for the attack on the Paris Climate Accord, which he said was one-sided, and for accusing India, Russia and China of not paying enough towards mitigation of greenhouses gases.
Also of interest to the world outside of the United States, specially to the government, businesses and people in India, was his reaffirmation of commitment to protectionism, listing for his supporters at a rally in Pennsylvania his “Buy American, Hire American” executive order among the achievements of his term.
On the climate change accord the president said, “Our government rushed to join international agreement where the United States bears the costs and bears the burden while other countries get the benefit and pay nothing and this includes deals like the one-sided Paris Climate Accord. where the United States pays billions while China, Russia and India have contributed, and will contribute, nothing.’
As the crowd booed, he asked them if the accord reminded them of the Iran deal — “that beauty” — an agreement driven by President Barack Obama to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons programme that has been widely greeted by much suspicion and derision among conservatives.
He went on to say that he will be making a “big decision on the Paris Accord over the next two weeks and … we will see what happens” and said the accord fit a pattern of “global theft and plunder of American wealth at the expense of the American worker”.
Trump argued, citing an estimate, that full compliance with the accord will shrink American Gross Domestic Product by $2.5 trillion over 10 years “that means factories and plants closing all over our country … (but) not with me, folks”.
And that was the theme of his pitch on jobs. “We are ending the offshoring and bringing back our beautiful, wonderful and great American jobs,” Trump added, continuing on that theme. His administration has launched a series of steps recently aimed at preventing loss of American jobs in the IT sector.
With the same overarching goal of protecting local jobs, Trump signed last week an executive order that seeks a review of the H-1B temporary visa programme for high-skilled foreign workers that are used heavily by Indian IT firms, which were directly and unequivocally accused by senior White House officials of gaming the system.
Trump skipped the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner in DC, as he had announced earlier, to address a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a state hit by loss of manufacturing jobs, to talk about his achievements in 100 days in office. The first 10 minutes of his 58-minute speech were devoted to eviscerating news media outlets — CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times, using many of his old attack lines.
First Published: Apr 30, 2017 14:30 IST