U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday used his first big appearance on the global stage - a "virtual visit" to Europe - to try to re-establish the United States as a multilateral team player after four years of divisive "America First" policies pursued by his predecessor, Donald Trump.
"America is back." U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday vowed to end transactional diplomacy and promote democracy over autocracies - a stark contrast to the foreign policy of his predecessor Donald Trump.
BIDEN: "Our partnerships have endured and grown through the years because they are rooted in the richness of our shared democratic values." Speaking after a "virtual visit" to Europe for the G7 leader’s meeting, Biden tried to re-establish the U.S. as a team player following four years of Trump’s "America First" policies - ones that angered allies by breaking off global accords.
BIDEN: "I know the past few years of strain (have) tested our transatlantic relationship, but the United States is determined - determined to re-engage with Europe.” And Biden came to play, announcing a $4 billion pledge of support for global coronavirus vaccination efforts, showcasing a nearly $2 trillion spending measure that could bolster both the U.S. and global economies, and re-entering the U.S. into the Paris climate accord which Trump had turned his back on.
BIDEN: “We have to rapidly accelerate our commitments to aggressively curb our emissions.” Biden, on Friday, first joined G7 leaders from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan by videoconference, hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson - a meeting that included the awkward moment familiar to all those who work remotely: BORIS: “…In June….” (Interrupted by Merkel) “Can you hear Angela?
You need to mute.” After some chuckles, leaders got to work, pledging billions of dollars to a coronavirus vaccination program for poorer countries.
They discussed countering China’s "non-market oriented" policies as well as challenges ranging from cybersecurity to nuclear proliferation.
Biden also made clear U.S. commitment to the NATO alliance was “unshakeable.” BIDEN: “The United States is fully committed to our NATO alliance, and I welcome your investment in the military capabilities that enable our shared defenses.” A statement, again, at odds with Trump, who called the NATO alliance outdated and had at one point, suggested Washington could withdraw.