President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. could “conceivably go back in” the Paris climate agreement if a fairer deal was reached, though he gave no concrete sign that any such deal was being discussed at this stage.
“Frankly, it’s an agreement that I have no problem with, 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,” the president said during a joint news conference with Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg. “But I say this, we are very strong on the environment. I feel very strongly about the environment.”
The president’s objections to the pact, signed by former President Barack Obama, included “great penalties” placed on the use of “gas and coal and oil and lots of other things,” and the potential closing of businesses in order to qualify for the accord. He also stated that the current agreement “took away a lot of [the country’s] asset values.”
“The Paris accord really would have taken away our competitive edge, and we are not going to let that happen,” Trump said. “I’m not going to let it happen.”
This is not the first time Trump has hinted that the U.S. could rejoin the pact.
When he announced the nation’s exit from the Paris climate agreement last year, he stated that the country could return “on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers,” though Trump has not yet clarified what changes would need to be made for him to reverse his decision.