In June 2017, the US president Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. According to Article 28 of the Paris Agreement, parties may withdraw at any time after three years from the date on which the Agreement has entered into force. Such withdrawal shall take effect upon expiry of one year from the notification of withdrawal. Since the Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, the earliest the U.S. can leave is 4 November 2020.

Negotiations of a comprehensive trade agreement between the US and the EU known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) stalled in 2016 and talks have failed to revive under the Trump administration. Nonetheless, in May 2017, Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission) agreed to setting up a joint EU-U.S. “action plan” on trade.  During these talks, European leaders urged Trump not to abandon the U.S. commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

In February 2018, French Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said:

“One of our main demands is that any country who signs a trade agreement with EU should implement the Paris Agreement on the ground. No Paris Agreement, no trade agreement. The US knows what to expect.”

Cecilia Malmstrom, European Commissioner for Trade, has backed French Minister Lemoyne and confirmed that the Paris Agreement reference will be included in all trade agreements negotiated by the EU from now. The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, whose negotiations were finalized on 8 December 2017, explicitly reaffirms commitment to effectively implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement in its Chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development.

A European Commission spokesperson told the Independent: 

“This point is a priority for the EU and it would be difficult to imagine concluding an important trade deal without an ambitious chapter on trade and sustainable development attached to it.”

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