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What Biden Means For The World

After several days of counting votes, former Vice President Joe Biden defeated President Donald J. Trump in the US presidential election. How will his win impact the world?

While Biden may have to contend with a divided Congress to achieve his many domestic priorities, he will have much more power to shape US foreign policy going forward. Biden should present a clear goal, strategy, and roadmap for his China policy as soon as he is inaugurated in order to build political consensus not only with Congress, but also with like-minded countries. While the Biden campaign emphasized the importance of alliances and multilateralism in order to restore US global leadership and democracy, US allies and partners will want to know how a Biden administration’s China policy will fit into his overarching goals. Combined with the control of covid infections and the economic recovery, the US could yet again provide a growth impulse to the global economy that countries such as India need to boost their exports and grow. Trump has praised autocrats and insulted allies.

At the top of Joe Biden's to-do list is repairing strained relationships, and re-joining global alliances. A Biden administration would also return to the world health organisation and seek to lead an international coronavirus response. Joe Biden says he will make fighting climate change a priority and re-join the Paris Climate Agreement, which is one of the international accords that Donald Trump dumped. He is providing a 2 trillion dollar plan for cutting emissions. Biden says he will be doing so by building a clean energy economy, creating millions of jobs in the process. Speaking of international accords, Joe Biden says he's prepared to re-join the deal that gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for scaling down its nuclear programme. He says he will re-join the nuclear accord if Iran returns to strict compliance, but he wouldn't lift sanctions until then. He would then negotiate to address concerns he shares with the president. Biden would also end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The high civilian death toll has built strong opposition to US involvement from the left wing of the party and a growing number of lawmakers in Congress.

President-elect Joe Biden and his foreign policy team need to make an investment in Hungary. US-Hungarian relations deteriorated significantly over the last decade as the US government responded to a widely-perceived authoritarian drift by prime minister viktor orbán. Donald Trump’s close personal ties with orbán exacerbated the problem, putting US-Hungarian relations on a partisan footing in Washington. This partisanship became even clearer during the US presidential campaign. Coming to Europe, Biden’s win will be welcomed with much relief there. In Europe, he is seen as a friend and supporter of the transatlantic relationship and a multilateral agenda. He faces an immense task and the narrow result should inspire humility when engaging allies.

When it comes to geopolitical adversaries, relationships with a few nations stay the same. Trump’s policies regarding Russia will likely be carried on, but at the same time, Biden has made clear that he wants to work with Moscow to preserve what's left of the arms control treaties constraining their nuclear arsenals. President Trump has pulled out of two, accusing Russia of cheating, and is trying to negotiate the extension of a third which expires in February. Biden has committed to extending it without conditions. When it comes to china, Biden would continue Trump's policy of countering China's "abusive economic practices," but jointly with allies, as opposed to Trump's preference for unilateral trade deals.

~ Risika Singh


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