1. US Withdrawal from the Paris Accords – the pathology
On one level, this was predictable.
The prevailing sentiment of the current Administration is based on a combination of anti-globalist sentiment and juvenile petulance. If they think that a treaty, or agreement with another country or group of countries is not equitable for the United States, they just metaphorically sweep the papers off the table, kick over the chair and walk out of the room.
Geopolitics is complex and subtle. Donald Trump and his band of followers lack the ability to understand complexity, and certainly lack any degree of subtlety when dealing with other nations. Of course, among Trump’s supporters, many of whom are deeply skeptical and hostile to globalization (which they blame for loss of jobs in the USA), the decision to leave the Paris Accords is one more sign that Trump Is The Man. The protests and complaints from others will be dismissed as the whinings of the losing elites. (As for the impact on the image of the USA in the rest of the world…pffft. The USA needs to be feared, and if those other freeloaders don’t get that, why…nice little capital city you got there, be a shame if a cruise missile was to hit it…)
2. The Tech sector leadership conundrum and fallout from administration actions
Immediately after the election of Donald Trump, a number of IT and Tech sector senior executives met with Trump. It was obvious why they met with him – Trump was the President-elect, and they needed to try and form a working relationship with the new leader of the Executive Branch.
The decision by those executives put them in an interesting bind. IT and Tech sector employees are generally well-educated, mobile, well-paid knowledge workers. They are generally globalist and forward-thinking in their worldview – and not likely to be supporters of Donald Trump. (anecdotally, most of my current work colleagues are not fans of Donald Trump, and many of them are not GOP supporters).
The tech employers are therefore finding themselves in a scenario where their employees’ value system and their public position of engagement with the Trump administration are at odds. While there is no requirement for employers’ public positions to match the worldviews of their employees, (the primary responsibility of leaders is to the stockholders), it is never a good idea to alienate employees. Tech employees are mobile and have other options.
Which brings us to the fallout..one of the leading Tech CEOs, Elon Musk, has resigned from his role as a member of the Presidential Council. Robert Iger of Disney has also resigned. This may be the beginning of a wider exodus of business leaders. Most business leaders are not climate change skeptics, and are deeply adverse to uncertainty, which is one of the inevitable outcomes of having a carnival barker in the role of POTUS. The actions of the administration are threatening to global stability,