Trump: US could ‘conceivably’ stay in Paris climate pact

Trump: US could ‘conceivably’ stay in Paris climate pact
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE said Wednesday that he might reverse his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris agreement on climate change.

In a joint press conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Trump reiterated his objections to the pact that former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaSenate needs to stand up to Trump's Nixonian view of the Fed Beyoncé in 'Time 100' profile: Michelle Obama empowers black Americans New Broadway play 'Hillary and Clinton' debuts MORE helped negotiate but said there are circumstances in which he’d stop the exit process he announced last June.

“I will say that the Paris agreement, as drawn and as we signed, was very unfair to the United States. It put great penalties on us. It made it very difficult for us to deal in terms of business. It took away a lot of our asset values,” he said of the pact that includes every other member of the United Nations.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump also said he has “no problem” with the agreement, “but I had a problem with the agreement that they signed, because as usual, they made a bad deal.”

“So we could conceivably go back in,” Trump said, without expanding on what would have to happen or change.

The Obama administration promised in the pact to reduce the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025.

The Trump administration explored the possibility of changing that pledge, since it is not binding under international law, but decided against it. 

While Trump announced the exit in June, the accord does not allow nations to submit exit paperwork until November 2019, to be effective in November 2020.

When announcing the exit, Trump kept the door open to rejoining the pact “on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”

Since then, administration officials have sought to clarify the terms under which Trump would reverse his decision.

“He left the door open to re-entering at some later time if there can be a better deal for the United States,” national security adviser H.R. McMaster said in September.

“I think under the right conditions, the president said he's open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue,” Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonJuan Williams: The high price of working for Trump Graham jokes to Pompeo: You're the 'longest-serving member of the cabinet, right?' Trump moves to install loyalists MORE, who supports the deal, said at the time.