United States President Donald Trump on Friday criticised India and China for unfairly benefiting from the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. The US government had “knocked out the Paris Accord”, Trump told a gathering at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“We had to pay, because they [Paris deal signatories] considered them [Indian and China] a growing country,” Trump said. “They were a growing country. I said, ‘What are we? Are we allowed to grow too? They called India a developing nation. They called China a developing nation. But the United States, we are developed – we can pay.”

Trump said the Paris Accord would have been “a disaster for our country,” while staking claim to being the only president in the history of the country to have cut so many “job-killing” regulations. The Trump administration officially notified the United Nations on August 4, 2017, about its decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement that was spearheaded by former US President Barack Obama.

Trump criticised the Paris deal as a “totally disastrous, job-killing, wealth-knocking-out” agreement. “It knocked out our wealth, or it would have,” the president said.

Earlier in 2017, the US president had said countries like China and India, which were leading polluters, were getting away with a partial deal. “Under the agreement, China will be able to increase emissions by a staggering number of years – 13,” Trump had said. “India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries.”

In December 2015, 195 countries had come together and signed the Paris accord, which seeks to prevent global temperatures from rising below 2 degrees Celsius, to prevent extremities like higher sea levels, changes in weather patterns, food and water crises and other adverse effects.