Three key economic issues will dominate the new international era set to emerge as Donald Trump assumes the presidency of the United States: trade, climate, and taxation/spending. Trump’s vague platform offers limited guidance on how he would go about imposing his “fair trade” ideas on America’s global trade partners, including Canada, or how he plans to introduce his trillion-dollar tax-reduction plan without blowing up the U.S. Treasury.
But on the third issue — climate change — Trump seems set to blow up the international order. The Internet has already exploded as the media and NGOs declared Trump’s election victory “a disaster for the planet.” In the words of Friends of the Earth Climate director Benjamin Schreiber, a man not given to rhetorical moderation: “Millions of Americans voted for a coal-loving climate-denier willing to condemn people around the globe to poverty, famine and death from climate change.”
More broadly, the election result reportedly “cast a significant shadow” over the UN Congress of the Parties meeting this week in Marrakech, Morocco. The objective of the meeting is to advance the agenda of the 2015 international Paris climate agreement — an agreement Trump has said he intends to “cancel.”
While it is not clear how Trump intends to rescind an international agreement signed by President Obama, the consensus is that Trump can act without the authority of Congress.
The result will be a set back or worse for global plans to impose carbon controls, green climate funds and carbon taxes across the world economy. If the U.S. is not meeting its Paris targets, why should other nations or the UN try to enforce the agreement?
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