Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal in June, but that can’t take place until 2020 under the terms of the agreement. At the time, the president suggested his administration might try to renegotiate the deal, but European leaders have resisted that proposal. But the State Department maintains that such a discussion could yet take place.
“[The president] is open to re-engaging in the Paris Agreement if the United States can identify terms that are more favorable to it, its businesses, its workers, its people, and its taxpayers,” the notice said.
That comports with Trump’s denunciation of the agreement, negotiated during former President Barack Obama’s second term, as a drag on the U.S. economy. “The agreement is a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries,” Trump said at the White House.
The written notice is the first official statement from the Trump administration about the climate agreement. But as the U.S. can’t formally withdraw until 2020 and can’t officially notify the U.N. about its plans until 2019, the Friday notice will be only symbolic.