During his first stay abroad, the president will have to do a lot to reform American international leadership, which was badly damaged by his predecessor.
As soon as he got off the plane, US diplomacy Joe Biden took a big step by showing that the US spokesman was no longer an authoritarian, megalomaniac nationalist seeking to garner attention by changing norms and abandoning historical commitments to his country. .
Not bad, but it will nonetheless be difficult to convince allies and adversaries that the United States can now be taken seriously in foreign policy.
Driving in dire straits
It is not wrong that doubts about the solidity of American leadership were already present before Donald Trump entered the scene.
Yet, by smugly repudiating the Paris climate agreement, closing the door to the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic, seeking to cash in on the United States’ commitment to its allies, and abandoning the promotion of democratic values by colliding with Vladimir Putin, among other things, Trump has done within four More years to undermine US international leadership than many of his predecessors did combined.
Joe Biden has a complete rebuilding task ahead of him.
Not being Donald Trump is a good thing, but it’s not enough.
Last week, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen took a huge step forward in reaching an agreement in principle on a minimum tax for multinational corporations. However, Joe Biden will have to convince his face that he will be able to pass the necessary legislation, despite the wall of Republican opposition.
His promise to provide the rest of the world with 500 million doses of a COVID vaccine is an extraordinary gesture, but his political opponents will undoubtedly find a way to put a stick in his wheels.
Biden will also be challenged by a face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin, who will not give him gifts and has mastered the art of stoking internal divisions in the United States.
Above all, in a highly uncertain domestic political environment in which the possibility of a bilateral consensus, even in foreign policy, is at its lowest, it is a challenge for Joe Biden to prove that he has good control over the governance of his country.
It will be difficult, because this test will not only concern foreign policy orientations, but also their ability to move their internal program.
The rest of the world is counting on his success, first because the global recovery after COVID will be difficult without a strong recovery in the US economy, but also because US international leadership depends on the confidence of its people. The stability of American democratic institutions.
In short, what the rest of the world expects from Biden is an assurance that we will not see a Trump or Trump comeback. This will take more than one trip.