On Friday, US President Joe Biden severely distanced himself from the trade and foreign policy of his predecessor, Donald Trump. Biden said that the United States’ relations with its allies “is not a bargaining chip.”
These relations are “inseparable” according to the new American president. This view is in stark contrast to the way Trump has treated his powerful G7 allies as economic competitors. “Our relationships have grown over the years because they are rooted in the richness of our shared democratic values,” Biden said.
During the digital consultations, Biden invited his G7 allies to work with him to combat the pandemic and climate change. Biden wants to re-introduce himself and the United States as a world leader. In the G7, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union will hold consultations on international and economic issues.
Also among the spearheads in his policy is the restoration of relations with NATO. His predecessor Trump regularly underestimated the transatlantic alliance, demanded an increase in defense spending and threatened to take back US forces. Biden stresses that coordinated action in consultation with allies is essential. Trump has alarmed his allies by demanding more favorable trade deals for the United States and threatening to reduce the U.S. military presence.
Biden also called for democracy to be protected, whether against foreign interference in the elections or against internal unrest, such as the attack by President Trump’s supporters on the Capitol Building. He says he believes with every strand of his body that democracy will triumph, and he speaks of a “turning point” in this context.
The United States reverted to the Paris climate agreement on Friday. With this, Biden is keeping one of his election promises, nearly a month after his inauguration. At a digital security conference in Munich, just hours after re-joining the accord, the new US president immediately took the step and called on his European allies to redouble their efforts in combating climate change. At the same time, he warned of a “global existential crisis”. “We can no longer accept the delay or do the minimum necessary to address climate change,” he said. If not, Biden says, “we will all have to bear the consequences.”
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in response: “How memorable was our accession to the agreement in 2016 and how important our return today is, and most importantly what we will do in the coming weeks, months and years.”
President Biden also said it was essential for the United States to work with other world powers to curb Iran’s “destabilizing” nuclear ambitions. And his government, Biden, is ready to reopen negotiations with the Security Council on Iran’s nuclear program. “We need to do something about Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East,” Biden said. “We will work with our European and other partners to see how we move forward.”
On Friday, Iran reiterated that all US sanctions should be lifted for further consultations. This happened after the US government made it clear that it wanted to meet with the Islamic Republic to discuss the Iranian nuclear program. This could happen at a summit with other countries.
The United States and several other countries agreed with Iran in 2015 that they would limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Trump felt a bad deal had been struck and once again imposed harsh punitive measures in his tenure. After that, Iran no longer felt obligated to respect the agreements contained in the deal.
The Paris climate treaty was signed during President Barack Obama’s last term, while Biden was still vice president. Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, left the climate pact in 2017 mainly because the agreements would be too restrictive (and unfair) to American business. Due to the long notice period, the United States did not formally leave the treaty until November 2020.
Of the 196 nations that signed the treaty, the United States is the only country that no longer considers itself bound by the treaty. The country also emits the largest percentage of greenhouse gases in the world per capita.
Biden said in his campaign that he takes climate change very seriously and appointed John Kerry as a special envoy in the field.
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