WASHINGTON – President Trump could stay in the Paris climate accord if certain “conditions” are met, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“I think under the right conditions,” Tillerson told CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday on the chance of the US staying in the agreement. “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.”
Trump pledged on June 1 that the US would withdraw from the agreement because it hinders American businesses and he would seek a better deal.
The withdrawal from the 2015 agreement was panned by environmentalists and the US’ international partners, but Trump won praise from his base on following through with a campaign pledge.
But in the months since, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn has led an effort to find ways to stay in the global agreement and keep the US at the table, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters initially pushed back at the notion of reversal saying there’s been “no change” to Trump’s decision.
But Tillerson explained on Sunday the US is trying to stay engaged.
“So I think the plan is for Director Cohn to consider other ways in which we can work with partners in the Paris climate a ccord,” Tillerson said. “We want to be productive. We want to be helpful.”
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster also said on ABC’s “This Week” that the US might stay in the Paris deal under some changes.
“He left the door open to reentering at some later time if there can be a better deal for the United States,” McMaster said of Trump. “… If there’s an agreement that benefits the American people, certainly.”