WASHINGTON — President Biden made his international debut Friday with a speech at the G-7 summit declaring the end of former President Donald Trump’s “America first” era.
Administration officials previewed Biden’s virtual speech, which was closed to the press, saying he would touch on the coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis, and unveil his plans to dramatically reshape the US foreign policy agenda.
“Now he will get the opportunity as president of the United States early in his term to declare that America is back and the trans-Atlantic alliance is back,” one official said Thursday evening.
“He will look forward to driving home the core proposition that the trans-Atlantic alliance is a cornerstone for American engagement in the world in the 21st century, just as it was in the 20th.”
Biden has swiftly dismantled Trump’s foreign policy agenda, which saw the US withdraw from the World Health Organization, the Paris Agreement and the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump believed were against the nation’s interests.
Biden also announced that the US will donate $4 billion for global coronavirus vaccination efforts.
An initial $2 billion donation will be made to the World Health Organization’s COVAX program, which distributes the miracle jab to developing nations, before a second donation brings the total to $4 billion.
On Friday, the US officially rejoins the the Paris climate agreement, the largest international effort to curb global warming.
In an accompanying speech at the Munich Security Conference later Friday, the new commander-in-chief announced that the US stands ready to rejoin talks about re-entering the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Iran began breaching the deal in 2019 after Trump withdrew the US from the agreement and reimposed economic sanctions on Tehran.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned Biden’s new agenda, saying the US can’t afford “eight more years of Barack Obama’s foreign policy.”
“When he says ‘back,’ when America is back, does he mean back to letting China walk all over us, destroying millions of jobs in places like Kansas and South Carolina, that we know so well? I hope that’s not what he means by ‘back,’” Pompeo told Fox News.
But administration officials said Thursday that Biden would maintain one of Trump’s signature foreign policy positions: mistrust of China.
The former veep reportedly raised concerns about China’s abusive economic practices but will still dial back the unbending rhetoric of the Trump administration.
“He will make clear in the speech that he’s not looking for confrontation, he’s not looking for a new Cold War, but he’s expecting stiff competition and he welcomes it,” the preview said.
The president sparked a furor earlier this week when he appeared to dismiss the Communist nation’s genocide against its Uighur population as a “different norm.”