Joe Biden faces a more skeptical global audience in his first G20 position as president

This weekend is the first personal G20 summit since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and world leaders are expected to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, problems in the global supply chain, global minimum tax rates, high energy prices and the fight against the climate crisis. , among other topics. The president will highlight energy supply issues at the first G20 meeting in Rome on Saturday and support a global minimum tax, a senior administration official says. These two issues are among the main items on Biden’s agenda at the Conference of the World’s Largest Economies.

“The main theme (Saturday) is that the U.S. is unwaveringly committed to our allies and partners and to direct diplomacy at the highest levels,” the official said. “And on the G20 are the US and the allies and partners here, we are full of energy, we are united.”

The theme of the first session is the global economy and the pandemic, and its main goal will be to endorse the global minimum tax, Biden’s top priority, which the White House believes would end the global race to the bottom in business. tax levels.

The agreed measure would tax large multinationals with a minimum rate of 15% and require them to pay taxes in the countries where they do business. The Biden administration breathed new life into the global initiative earlier this year and secured the support of the G7 countries in June, paving the way for a preliminary agreement in July.

“In our opinion, this is more than just a tax deal. It is about reshaping the rules of the world economy,” the official said.

Biden’s views recently introduced spending framework would enforce part of the global minimum tax scheme, although the fate of this measure remains uncertain as Democrats bargain over time. Biden administration officials downplayed the effect of the democratic conflict on Biden’s ability to unite foreign leaders.

“These world leaders are really sophisticated. They understand. In any democracy, it is a complex process to do anything as ambitious as we strive for in our domestic agenda,” the senior administration official said. “It’s a multi-generational investment and of course we’re trying to reform the tax code to pay for it. And so, you know, I think there will be a broad understanding that will take time.”

Biden also plans to “increase short-term imbalances in global energy supply and demand” during the first G20 session, “the official said:” I would like to highlight the issue and emphasize the importance of seeking more balance and stability in both oil and gas markets. “

Nonetheless, the official said Biden would not be directly involved in OPEC’s decisions to increase supply: “We will certainly not get involved in the specifics of what is happening within the cartel, but we have a voice and intend to use it on an issue affecting the world economy. “

“There are large energy producers that have spare capacity,” the official said. “And we encourage them to use it to ensure a stronger and more sustainable recovery around the world.”

Iran is also said to be on the agenda of the United States and its main allies.

Biden will meet on Saturday with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which aims to control Iran’s nuclear program in return. for a waiver of sanctions, the White House said. Former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the JCPOA agreement in 2018, and Biden said the U.S. will join him again when Tehran returns to full compliance with the pact’s restrictions on nuclear development.

The president is expected to have additional bilateral meetings with world leaders in Rome, although the White House has not yet made decisive announcements. There will also be a traditional “family photo” of the leaders, which will be one of the most photographed opportunities to meet each other during the summit.

The president’s interactions with world leaders will be closely monitored throughout the weekend, especially as he tries to smooth out diplomatic dust with one of the United States ’oldest allies, France.

The US, UK and Australia announced a new partnership last month, which included providing assistance to help Australia develop nuclear-powered submarines. France says the deal was made in secret without her knowledge and jeopardized an existing billion-dollar contract to supply diesel-powered submarines to Australia. Macron briefly recalled the French ambassador to the United States in a startling criticism of the announcement.

On Friday in Rome, Biden said his administration was “awkward” in handling the deal, which took away billions of defense contracts from France when he met with French President Emmanuel Macron, who seemed willing to move out of the dispute, but made it clear that the US will have to prove to be trustworthy in the future.

The meeting was the first time the two leaders saw each other face to face after the rift. Biden said he had the impression that France had been informed “long before the deal went through, honestly to God.”

In addition to meeting Macron on the first day of his trip, Biden and the first lady met with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Biden, who is Catholic, and the Pope met face to face for 90 minutes. The president then said that Francis had told him that he was pleased to be a “good Catholic” and that he should continue to receive communion, despite opposition from some conservative American bishops regarding his support for abortion.


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