5 things to keep in mind as Biden heads to Europe

President BidenJoe BidenBiden to Meet House Democrats Ahead of Europe Trip: Report 21 House Democrats Call for Removal of IRS Bank Reporting Proposal from Spending Bill Overnight Health Care – Presented by Altria – Vulnerable Democrats Push Drug Pricing Plan MORE He will depart Washington for the second overseas trip of his presidency on Thursday, a high-stakes adventure that will include stops at major economic and climate summits.

The nations are expected to finalize an agreement on a global minimum tax at the Group of 20 summit in Rome, the world’s leading economic forum.

And at the United Nations climate summit, known as COP26, Biden plans to pressure other countries to address climate change more aggressively, despite failing to get votes to pass his own climate agenda at home.

Here are five things to keep in mind:

How distracting is Biden’s domestic schedule?

Biden’s focus has been consumed in recent weeks by haggling over his domestic agenda on Capitol Hill.

He is about to leave for Europe on Thursday without reaching an agreement on a comprehensive climate and social spending package, although top Democrats and White House officials insist they are moving closer to a deal.

Biden had hoped to have an agreement in hand on the legislative package, which is expected to include around $ 500 billion to address climate change, before his trip abroad, but that seems unlikely. An agreement would strengthen his hand and serve as evidence that American democracy can deliver.

White House officials say Biden will work the phones while abroad to facilitate negotiations, but it is unclear whether his absence could slow the momentum of his agenda at home or his influence abroad.

“There are telephones on Air Force One and also in Europe,” said the White House press secretary. Jen psakiJen PsakiBiden to Meet House Democrats Ahead of Europe Trip: Overnight Defense and National Security Report – Presented by Boeing – Milley Warns of ‘Sputnik Moment’ for China On The Money – Will Billion Dollar Tax Survive Joe Manchin? PLUS said this week. “He will remain engaged even as we move on to the trip.”

Josh Freed, senior vice president of the climate and energy program at the Democratic think tank Third Way, said that if passage of the legislation “comes a week or two later, it is still a powerful statement. It is the difference between what we have done and what we are going to do. “

Can Biden Unite Nations on Climate Change?

The UN climate summit in Glasgow provides Biden with a high-profile opportunity to demonstrate a sharp turn by the Trump administration, which withdrew the United States from the landmark Paris climate accord.

Biden is expected to deliver a speech and is likely to highlight the executive actions he has taken on the climate, as well as the funds included in the spending package being negotiated on Capitol Hill.

Biden has pledged to cut America’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and will seek to convince other nations to commit to curbing methane emissions.

A UN report released in the days leading up to the summit said countries were not meeting their targets in the Paris agreement to prevent climate change. Developed nations are also falling short of their goal of sending $ 100 billion annually to the poorest nations to address the disproportionate damage they are experiencing from climate change caused largely by the richest countries.

Freed predicted that there would be “small advances” at the summit, but not a total change. He said there will likely be more talks on technologies like carbon sequestration to help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“The COP is an assembly of nations with a host of different interests, and these are really tough talks that are even tougher in the years since the Paris agreement,” Freed said.

Can Biden, Macron reboot?

Biden and French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel Macron Biden talks to Macron, Harris to meet French President in Paris French Ambassador to Australia criticizes US sub-agreement: ‘The way you treat your allies resonates’ Subplot of States United and Europe caught in the hangover MORE will meet face-to-face for the first time since a dispute over a deal for the United States to sell nuclear-powered submarines to Australia.

The two have spoken on the phone twice in an effort to smooth things over, but Friday’s meeting will be a real test of whether both leaders have weathered last month’s controversy.

Biden is likely to use the meeting to promote US cooperation with France in Asia Pacific, in an effort to ease bad feelings about a regional security deal between the US, the UK and Australia.

France received little notice of the deal, called AUKUS, before the three countries announced it last month. As a result, France lost a major defense contract to deliver submarines to Australia. France briefly recalled its ambassador to the United States for the snub.

Secretary of state Antony blinkAntony BlinkenHillicon Valley – Blinken unveils new state cyber office World Bank stops operations in Sudan in response to coup Senators urge Biden to waive sanctions against India for purchase of Russian defense system MORE He met with Macron in Paris shortly after the crisis and said the United States and France “are very focused on moving forward.” Vice President Harris will meet separately with Macron in Paris at the end of November.

What do the absences of China and Russia mean?

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich Putin A Modern US-Russia Policy Must Embrace Realism And Strategic Humility Russia Tells Afghanistan’s Neighbors To Refuse America, NATO Forces Russia Tightens Restrictions As Virus Infections Rise PLUS, who cited COVID-19 concerns as a reason to stay home, are probably the most prominent absences from the G-20 summit and COP26.

This could provide Biden with a key opportunity to reassert US global leadership without vocal pushback from the two countries that are most at odds with Washington.

National Security Advisor Jake sullivanJake SullivanFlake, Cindy McCain Among Latest Confirmed Biden Ambassadors After Delay 12:30 PM Report from The Hill – Presented by Facebook – The White House will greet legislators as negotiations on the agenda reach a critical stage MORE On Tuesday he said the president will reject the China Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing’s decades-long infrastructure investment project around the world, promoting a global version of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

“He will show how a high-standard, climate-friendly alternative to the Belt and Road Initiative can help American businesses and American workers compete globally in all aspects of infrastructure, from physical to digital. and health, “Sullivan said at a briefing at the White House.

Richard Fontaine, executive director of the Center for a New American Security and a former foreign policy adviser to the late senator. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcCain criticizes Graham for refuting funeral comment on Kushner, Ivanka Trump Flake, Cindy McCain among latest confirmed Biden ambassadors after Meghan McCain delay to Trump: ‘Thanks for the publicity’ MORE (R-Ariz.), Argued that the absence of Xi and Putin will play in favor of Biden.

“He is a cheater and a kind of political leader of personal diplomacy. That is a very conducive arrangement for in-person diplomacy, ”Fontaine said. “It won’t have the other two rival great power national leaders to do the same.”

But Mary Lovely, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the absences of China and Russia may hamper the effectiveness of what the global gatherings can accomplish.

“Obviously, we lose something, which is some contact between the leaders of these countries,” he said. “It really is not a global solution if China is not involved; Russia, if you are talking about energy, something is lost. “

United States ‘laser focused’ in supply chains

Sullivan also said that the president will focus on supply chains in his meetings in Europe. The global shipping bottleneck has affected the delivery of everything from household goods and toys to parts manufacturing in the United States.

The administration has sought to alleviate bottlenecks in the US by pressuring seaports, train operators and truck drivers to operate on a 24/7 schedule.

Josh Lipsky, director of the Atlantic Council’s Center for GeoEconomics, said the issue of supply chains was added to the G-20 agenda relatively at the last minute, but that the global economic forum presents an opportunity for concrete success. in easing bottlenecks around the world.

“There are things that could come out of that meeting, very specific and they will not even be in the statements that come out at the end of this, but they are specific things that the leaders follow up on,” he said during a virtual panel with the Atlantic Council. Tuesday.

“‘We really need to expand capacity at this port,’ We really need to do this, this is a key choke point, and it is keeping so much flow from the global economy, ‘” he gave as examples. “I think there is a lot that can really be done from a coordination mechanism at this summit.”

Lovely, from the Peterson Institute, said he will be watching closely as world leaders balance the tension of coordinating with allies in global trade while seeking to build manufacturing capacity domestically, where countries struggle to have the products of the same. the highest quality. home-built and profitable when shipped abroad.

“This is an area where coordination is needed, but there is also intense competition, so coordination is difficult,” he said.


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