US President Donald Trump has made several controversial decisions, including ones that forced the US out of international institutions. Here are Trump's top five exits.

United States President Donald Trump stands in front of a US flag on May 27, 2017.
United States President Donald Trump stands in front of a US flag on May 27, 2017. (Reuters)

The United States President Donald Trump withdrew his country from five significant international agreements since he took the oath of office in January 2017. 

The agreements he turned his back against include his election campaign pledges. The decisions have triggered both domestic and international concerns, and some have even led to violent clashes. 

For instance, his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem claimed over 100 Palestinian lives and injured 11,000 more and also angered several countries. The move also violated the United Nations 1967 resolution, which asks Israel to vacate all the occupied territories of Palestine and work toward building peace in the region. 

His decision was even criticised  by American citizens. 

Here are five other controversial decisions by Trump. 

Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement 

In June last year, Trump didn’t lose any time after he took office and withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement, a commitment by countries across the world to curb climate change and global warming.

Trump justified the exit by citing "draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes" on the US.

However, he said the US will begin renegotiating to re-enter the accord but on his own terms. He said that as the treaty currently stood, the US was the biggest loser, but that other countries were not carrying their weight. He referred specifically to China and India.

He said if the US did not pull out, it would be "hamstrung" by the treaty, costing it 2.7 million jobs by 2025.

Withdrawal from Trans-Pacific Partnership

Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the pact early last year under his "America First" policy,  reversing decades-old trade policies, hoping to bring jobs back to the US.

Led by the United States, the TPP was aimed at tying together the economies of 12 countries in what would have become the largest trading bloc in the world.

Japan, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Peru and Chile are the other members of the pact – all located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Under the agreement, the member countries would have gradually removed import tariffs and by 2030, goods would have flowed into their ports without any restriction.

Besides boosting trade and economic growth, the pact would have helped increase wages and uplift working conditions for labour in countries like Vietnam as all members were required to follow common regulations.

Together, these countries make up 40 percent of the global economic output and one-third of its trade, making it the strongest economic partnership.

Trump's predecessor Barack Obama said the Trump administration was joining "a small handful of nations that reject the future" by withdrawing from the Paris climate change pact.

Withdrawal from UNESCO

The US said last October that they were pulling out of the UN's culture and education body, UNESCO.

The US decision, announced in Washington, follows years of tension at the organisation which it accused of having an "anti-Israel bias."

The United States has walked out of the 195-member organisation once before under ex-president Ronald Reagan, who quit in 1984 over alleged financial mismanagement and claims of anti-US bias in some of its policies.

President George W Bush announced America's return in 2002, but relations soured again in 2011 when Barack Obama pulled the plug on funding to the body after its members voted to admit Palestine as a full member.

Washington opposes any move by UN bodies to recognise the Palestinian territories as a state.

The head of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, called the US withdrawal a "loss to multilateralism," while UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said through a spokesman that he "regrets this development deeply."

Leaving Iran nuclear deal

Donald Trump withdrew the US from the landmark nuclear accord with Iran in May, restoring harsh sanctions in the most consequential foreign policy action of his presidency. 

He declared he was making the world safer, but he also deepened his isolation on the world stage and revived doubts about American credibility, in a move to underline Washington’s drift away from international institutions.

The 2015 agreement, which was negotiated by the Obama administration and included Germany, France and Britain, had lifted most US and international economic sanctions against Iran. 

In exchange, Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program, making it impossible to produce a bomb and establishing rigorous inspections.

The European Union member states, Russia, and China criticised Trump’s decision to walk away from the agreement. Only Israel praised the decision. 

Withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

And finally, less than two weeks ago, the US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced America's withdrawal from the Human Rights Council, saying “no other countries “ had the courage to join our fight to reform the “hypocritical and self-serving” body. 

The decision came a month after the Human Rights Council launched a probe into recent killings in Gaza and accused Israel of excessive use of force.

The resolution to send a commission of inquiry to investigate was rejected by the United States and Australia, but backed by 29 members of the 47-state UN forum. Another 14 countries, including Britain, Germany and Japan, abstained.

The special session of the Human Rights Council was convened after the bloodiest day for Palestinians in years during the Great March of Return, when 60 were killed by Israeli gunfire during demonstrations that Israel said included attempts to breach its frontier fence.

Israel and the United States complain that the Human Rights Council, made up of 47 states chosen by the General Assembly, has a permanent anti-Israel bias.

The US has stood by Israel during the weeks of violence, which coincided with the opening of a new US embassy in Jerusalem.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies