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Foreign leaders to Trump: there is no "better deal" than Paris

One leader called the withdrawal a “brutal act.”

Donald Trump Hosts Canadian PM Justin Trudeau At The White House
U.S. President Donald Trump (R) extends his hand to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House on February 13, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

In a highly anticipated move, President Trump just pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. He cited economic and employment concerns, claiming that the agreement hurt the US in order to benefit others. He said he hoped the US could renegotiate the deal to make it better for America.

But under the current agreement, he said, the US was getting laughed at for being taken advantage of. “We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore, and they won't be. They won't be,” he assured a friendly audience in the White House Rose Garden.

Well, he’s right about one thing: Foreign leaders aren’t laughing. They’re furious.

"We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies," they said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is “deeply disappointed,” he said in a tweet. And it’s worth noting that he said “United States federal government” and not “Trump” or “the United States.” Perhaps Canada’s leader is making a purposeful distinction?

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel called Trump’s decision a “brutal act,” continuing with, “Leadership means fighting climate change together. Not forsaking commitment.”

China, which has upped its environmentalism game in recent years and is the only country that emits more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the United States, also reacted strongly before Trump’s announcement. Expect more from China in the very near future.

So it looks like instead of laughing, foreign leaders are more upset to see that the United States will now join only Syria and Nicaragua as the countries not honoring the Paris agreement. It’s an odd place for the “leader of the free world” to be.

At least Trump was right that the laughter — if there ever was laughter — would stop.