Weekly Capitol Report

Poplar Bluff Over Paris

f t # e
Washington, May 3, 2019 | comments

In recent years, Americans have been taken advantage of on the world stage – with unfair foreign trade practices, weak nuclear agreements, and lopsided international pacts. President Trump promised the American people he would not stand for international deals that rip off the United States, and he followed through on his word when he pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Unfortunately, House Democrats this week voted to tie President Trump’s hands to President Obama’s legacy and try to prevent President Trump from withdrawing from the flawed Paris Climate Agreement.

President Obama, near the end of his term in office, decided on his own to sign the United States up for the Paris Climate Accord. He single-handedly signed American farms and businesses up for new global regulations and pledged the United States would send $3 billion in taxpayer funds overseas without thoroughly considering the consequences. There was no economic analysis to determine the number of American jobs that could be lost or how this deal would impact our economy, until it was too late.

As a candidate for office, Donald Trump promised he would not enter unfair international agreements that would lose jobs and harm our economy. Ten months after President Obama entered the deal on his own, President Trump made the right call and said the United States would not be participating in the agreement. That doesn’t mean the United States isn’t reducing its carbon emissions. In fact, the U.S. is leading the world in reducing greenhouse gasses. Since 2005, the U.S. has reduced its carbon emissions by 758 million metric tons, nearly as much as every country in the European Union combined.

Compare this to China and India, who under the Paris Agreement wouldn’t reduce carbon emissions until 2030. In fact, they have increased their carbon emissions dramatically since signing the Paris Climate Agreement. When America is already leading the pack, why should we kneecap our economy while the bad actors continue increasing emissions and not one single European country is in compliance with the Paris Agreement?

What President Trump’s decision means is that we will not sacrifice our economy needlessly in a lopsided international deal. By 2025, the commitments President Obama made in Paris could cost our GDP $250 billion and the United States could lose 2.7 million jobs. By 2040, these commitments could cost the economy $3 trillion and 6.5 million jobs. Knowing that Speaker Pelosi had the votes to pass a resolution to enforce the unfair deal, I offered a simple amendment: that we would not enforce the Paris Climate Agreement until we certified that it would not harm our economy or cause Americans to lose jobs. Unfortunately, the Democrat-controlled Rules Committee blocked my amendment from even receiving a vote.

We shouldn’t have to choose between a strong economy and reducing carbon emissions. Americans will continue to do what we’ve always done and lead the world. What we will not do, at least under President Trump’s leadership, is sign unfair international agreements that allow bad actors to take advantage of our country.

f t # e