“We’ll Always Have Paris”
If Mr. Trump thought that pulling the United States out of the Paris Accord on Climate Change would force the rest of the world to buckle and flock to his doorstep to renegotiate the agreement with him, he very badly miscalculated. Trump’s arrogance in that respect seems rooted in a long-standing fiction — at least since Madelaine Albright — that the United States is “the indispensible nation”. There are no “indispensible nations” in the grand historical view, and I think Mr. Trump has just definitively popped that bubble (and apparently, so do others).
Ironically, though (and what isn’t ironic these days) Mr. Trump, quite despite himself and his intentions, may have just made the US federal state and national government irrelevant anyway, and prepared the way for some form of “glocalism“,
Many states and (especially) cities in the United States will continue to abide by the Paris Accords despite Trump and the foreign policy position of the American federal state, and it’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out, because it basically means that cities will have their own “foreign policy” — their own multilateral arrangements that bypass the federal state’s monopoly on such policy matters. So, you may very well be seeing with this the initial formation of economist Peter Pogany’s “Global System 3” (in Rethinking the World) emerging in the events of the last few days.
In effect, the return of the classical “city-state” . Some cities and corporations which still abide by the Paris Agreement will continue to have access to overseas markets through multilateral arrangements, while others who follow along with Trump and the national government will be shut out. The apparent willingness of the EU, for example, to still engage with American city administrations, and the express willingness of those city administrations to uphold the Paris Agreements, signals a de facto “glocalisation”, and a decentralisation of federal powers into city-states or leagues of city-states, something akin perhaps to the old Hanseatic League.
I can’t see that unfolding in any other way (barring Trump’s impeachment or capitulation), and I would be surprised if the mayors of certain cities or the governors of certain states weren’t already exploring alliances to effectively keep their connections with the world economy and uphold the Paris Accord, effectively bypassing Trump and the federal state.