There are some managers that come into a new job and believe that one of the first things they should do is fire someone. It gets people’s attention, puts them on their toes and shows them that it is not going to be business as usual.
Apparently, Donald Trump is one of those managers. A main topic at his first formal meeting with the Europeans was the Paris climate change agreement. They wanted the US to stay on track and worked hard to convince him to do so.
But to Trump, the issue was not about climate change but about letting the Europeans know that it will not be business as usual. And “firing” the climate change deal despite their pleas was a good way to do this.
In the short term, it won’t make much difference to climate change. Business is largely in favor of it and is going to act as if it were in effect for commercial reasons. Environmentally sympathetic state and local governments will do the same.
Meanwhile, Trump scores huge points with his base, sticking up for them against all of the usual suspects: the wishy washy UN, the socialist Europeans, the cheating Chinese, the elite liberals back home, etc. All without having to get Congress’ involved.
Starting his relationship with the Europeans by pissing them off may backfire on Trump. But not as much as pissing off his base by appeasing the Europeans and reversing his campaign promises on the Paris Accords. If impeachment talk ever becomes mainstream, he is going to
want need his base solidly behind him.