from The Internationalist and International Institutions and Global Governance Program

Trump's "Sovereignty" Canard

In justifying his decision to renounce the Paris climate agreement, President Donald Trump on Thursday cited the need to defend U.S. sovereignty. This is a red herring if ever there was one. 

June 12, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump pumps his fist at his aides and staff members looking on as he departs to spend the weekend at his New Jersey golf estate from the South Lawn of the White House. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
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United States

Treaties and Agreements

U.S. Foreign Policy

Donald Trump

Paris Climate Agreement

The following is an excerpt from an op-ed published in U.S. News & World Report.

In justifying his decision to renounce the Paris climate agreement, President Donald Trump on Thursday cited the need to defend U.S. sovereignty. This is a red herring if ever there was one. The episode provides an overdue opportunity to clarify what is at stake when the United States chooses between international cooperation and going it alone.

In his speech, Trump argued that the Paris accord threatens the constitutional foundations of American democracy by granting outsiders an unwarranted say over U.S. energy, environmental and economic policies. "Foreign leaders in Europe, Asia and across the world, should not have more to say with respect to the U.S. economy than our own citizens and their elected representatives, thus, our withdrawal from the agreement represents a reassertion of America's sovereignty," the president declared. "Our constitution is unique among all nations of the world. And it is my highest obligation and greatest honor to protect it."

But the Paris accord is a purely voluntary agreement among its 195 parties. It is not a legally binding treaty but a collection of "intended, nationally determined contributions." 

Read the full op-ed here.

 

 

 

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