The decision by Donald Trump to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement has been followed by strong statements of commitment to the deal from India and China. This is a repeat of the script we saw on free trade. The two emerging Asian giants have a strong incentive to protect the liberal international order if they have to keep pulling millions of their citizens out of poverty.
The fashionable view in India—both on the left and the right—has been to treat the global system as an imperialist ploy to keep developing countries tied to poverty. Why would the US turn its back on a system that is ostensibly built only to further its own interests?
The US undoubtedly pushed globalization in the 1980s to further its economic interests, but there is enough data to show that millions in Asia have been beneficiaries.
India should build coalitions to protect the liberal international order that has served it well in recent years. The alternative is a damaging breakdown in global coordination.