On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden said the United States will be “ready to lead” again on the global stage; turning the page on Republican President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies as he pledged to work together with the nation’s allies.
The Democratic former vice president signaled he intended after taking office on Jan. 20; to steer the United States away from the unilateralist nationalism pursued by Trump.
He also introduced his foreign policy and national security team.
Biden also said that two former, more liberal, rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senators Bernie Sanders; and Elizabeth Warren, were not under consideration for Cabinet appointments, saying he needed their votes in the closely divided Senate.
Trump over four years unsettled many U.S. allies, in Europe and elsewhere, with an antagonistic approach toward the NATO alliance and trade relations; abandonment of international agreements and warm relationships with authoritarian leaders.
Biden said his team, which includes trusted aide Antony Blinken as his nominee for U.S. secretary of state; would shed what the president-elect described as “old thinking and unchanged habits” in its approach to foreign relations.
Biden said at the event in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware that: “It’s a team that reflects the fact that America is back, ready to lead the world; not retreat from it, once again sit at the head of the table; ready to confront our adversaries and not reject our allies, ready to stand up for our values.”
The world is much changed since Democrats were last in the White House four years ago.
China is on the rise and emboldened Russia has sought to further assert its clout, U.S. influence has waned as it has pulled out of various accords; and American moral authority has been dented by turmoil at home.
U.S. foreign policy under a Biden administration is likely to take more of a multilateral; and diplomatic approach aimed at repairing Washington’s relationships with key allies and pursuing new paths on issues such as climate change.
His promise to embrace alliances, including in the Asia-Pacific region, follows a deterioration in bilateral ties between the United States and China; the world’s top two economies, that has triggered comparisons with the Cold War.
This final year of Trump’s administration was marked by frequent China-bashing; as the two powers sparred over China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic; deteriorating freedoms in Hong Kong and territorial issues in the South China Sea.