Biden attends G-7 summit amid post-Trump mood of global cooperation
President Joe Biden on Friday met with top allies in Cornwall, England, for a G-7 leaders summit, the first such in-person meeting since the coronavirus pandemic began.
While the focus of the summit’s agenda is on multilateral initiatives affecting the G-7 countries, all eyes are on the president’s upcoming sitdown with Russian President Vladimir Putin set for next Wednesday.
Ahead of a group photo with other G-7 leaders Friday, the president was asked by a reporter what his message was for Putin.
“I’ll tell ya after I deliver it,” Biden said, as he walked away to pose with the other leaders.
On the meeting’s agenda, the leaders were set to tackle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, address global economic uncertainties brought on by the pandemic and reduce the threat posed by the increased prevalence of ransomware attacks. Officials said the leaders would look to “set the rules of the road on all forms of emerging technologies.”
The two biggest outcomes expected from the summit are a shared commitment to a global vaccination effort and an agreement on what the minimum corporate tax rate should be.
Collectively, the countries are committing to providing a billion vaccinations globally to assist people in some of the world’s poorest countries, with Biden announcing Thursday that the United States would contribute half of that total.
On the tax rate, the leaders are expected to collectively endorse a global minimum corporate tax of at least 15%, following up on an agreement met by finance ministers last week, though implementation of such a tax rate ultimately will require approval in each country.
The mood of multilateral cooperation surrounded Biden’s debut appearance at the summit, which serves as a stark departure from prior summits in recent years, as former President Donald Trump’s skepticism of multilateralism in favor of his “America First” approach to foreign policy rattled the global norms that have long made such summits predictable affairs.
Following a one-on-one meeting with Biden Thursday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered glowing praise for the president and expressed his gratitude for his cooperative approach to foreign policy.
“It’s wonderful to listen to the Biden administration and to Joe Biden because there’s so much that they want to do together with us from security, NATO to climate change,” Johnson said.
“It’s fantastic,” he said. “It’s a breath of fresh air. A lot of things they want to do together.”
Following his day of summit meetings Friday, Biden and other world leaders convened for the evening at an eco-tourism site in Cornwall, England, where they met with the queen and other senior members of the royal family. The leaders were set to dine on ethically sourced food prepared by local chefs.
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