The US president has recently announced that the US will be pulling out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Needless to say, the decision has been viewed unfavorably by the international community. The most surprising part of this news to me is that even the big international corporations and oil companies disagree with the US’ withdrawal from the agreement even though they are often seen as the major contributors to climate change. It is disappointing to see the US pull out of an agreement that every country around the world (with the exception of just Syria and Nicaragua) has agreed upon.
As an International Relations student, I am most intrigued by the shifting of power, leadership, and relationship as the result of the US’ decision. Although Trump has claimed to be tough on China, the pullout has made China the leader in combating climate change. The US has lost to China on the issue of climate change, how else will the US lose to China? Moreover, the decision demonstrated the lack of consideration of an urgent global problem and it makes the US “look bad”. The international community can no longer trust the US, the most powerful country, to be committed to solving this global issue. This may have negative ramifications for US diplomacy in the future. The president’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement does not demonstrate the power of the US but it does demonstrate the administration’s lack of consideration of the most significant global problem and the lack of understanding of international politics.
The events that have occurred during the first five months of the Trump administration can only be described as hectic. Consumers of news have been constantly bombarded with breaking news of allegations towards the White House and controversial decisions. So much has happened, it has been difficult to keep up with all the developments and reflect on its implications. On the other hand, US politics has never been more interesting, the news has become a form of entertainment in itself. I have never expected to learn the names of the members of the US cabinet and senators. As Jim Jefferies explained on the Daily Show that we should not have to know all the names of the politicians if everything is going well.
The level of incompetence of the president and his administration is unprecedented. Interestingly, the Trump administration has made the Obama administration seem like the best administration.
With the development and revelations, Russia seems to have re-emerged as a more powerful state with its ability to influence the US politics and its leaders. The clearest demonstration of that power was Trump welcomed Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Kislyak to the Oval Office. Although such action could have been simply the result of the incompetence of the administration, the presence of Russia in the US political discussion has made Russia seem like a more powerful country.
It is unlikely that Trump would be able to keep his promise to make America great again with the investigations that seem to highlight Russian power and the pulling out of the climate change agreement that has made China the leader in climate change. The US is losing the power and prestige it once had as the result of wrong decisions.