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Joe Biden faces more skeptical global audiences during his first G20 as president

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Joe Biden faces more skeptical global audiences during his first G20 as president

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This weekend marks the first in-person G20 summit since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and world leaders are expected to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, global supply chain issues, a rate of d global minimum taxation, high energy prices and the fight against the climate crisis, among other topics. The president will raise energy supply issues and support a global minimum tax at the first G20 session on Saturday in Rome, a senior administration official said. These two issues are high on Biden’s agenda at the conference of the world’s largest economies.

“The overall theme of (Saturday) is that the United States is firmly committed to our allies and partners and to face-to-face diplomacy at the highest level,” the official said. “And in the G20, the United States and its allies and partners are there, we are energized, we are united.”

The subject of the first session is the global economy and the pandemic, and its primary focus will be the approval of a global minimum tax, a top priority for Biden that the White House says would end the global race to down on business. tax rates.

The agreed measure would tax large multinational companies at a minimum rate of 15% and oblige them to pay taxes in the countries where they operate. The Biden administration breathed new life into the global initiative earlier this year and garnered support from G7 countries in June, paving the way for a preliminary deal in July.

“In our opinion, this is more than just a tax deal. It is an overhaul of the rules of the global economy,” the official said.

Some aspects of Biden’s recently unveiled spending framework would enact part of the global minimum tax regime, although the fate of the measure remains uncertain as Democrats haggle over the timing. Officials in the Biden administration have played down the effect of these Democratic internal struggles on Biden’s ability to rally foreign leaders.

“These world leaders are really sophisticated. They understand. There is a complicated process in any democracy to do something as ambitious as the one we are pursuing in our national agenda,” said the senior administration official. “These are multigenerational investments and of course we are trying to reform the tax code to pay the price. And so, you know, I think there is going to be a broad understanding that takes time.”

Biden also plans to “increase the short-term imbalance of supply and demand in global energy markets” at the first session of the G20, “the official said:” We would like to raise the issue and emphasize the importance of finding more balance and stability. both in the oil and gas markets. “

Still, the official said Biden would not get directly involved in OPEC’s decisions about increasing the supply: “We are certainly not going to get involved in the details of what is going on within the cartel, but we have a voice and we intend to use it on an issue affecting the global economy. “

“There are large energy producers who have spare capacity,” the official said. “And we encourage them to use it to ensure a stronger and more sustainable recovery around the world.”

Iran should also be on the agenda of the United States and its key allies.

On Saturday, Biden will meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the path to returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which aims to curb Iran’s nuclear program by exchange for sanctions relief, the White House said. Former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the JCPOA deal in 2018, and Biden said the United States will join him once Tehran is again in full compliance with nuclear development pact restrictions. .

The president is expected to hold additional bilateral meetings with world leaders while in Rome, although the White House has yet to make any firm announcements. There will also be a traditional “family photo” of the leaders, which will be one of the most photographed occasions for them to meet during the summit.

The president’s interactions with world leaders will be closely watched throughout the weekend, especially as he tries to iron out a diplomatic conflict with one of the United States’ oldest allies, France.

The US, UK and Australia announced a new partnership last month that included assistance to help Australia develop nuclear-powered submarines. France claims the deal was made in secret without its knowledge and jeopardized an existing multi-billion dollar contract to supply Australia with diesel-powered submarines. In a staggering blame for the announcement, Macron briefly recalled the French ambassador to the United States.

In Rome on Friday, Biden said his administration was “awkward” in handling the deal that deprived France of billions in defense contracts when he met French President Emmanuel Macron, who appeared ready to step out of the country. feud but made it clear that the United States will have to prove it is trustworthy in the future.

It was the first time the two leaders had seen each other face to face since the split. Biden said he was under the impression that France had been informed “long before the deal was not done, honest with God.”

In addition to meeting Macron on the first day of his trip, Biden and the first lady met Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Biden, who is Catholic, and the Pope met face-to-face for 90 minutes. The president later said Francis told him he was happy to be a “good Catholic” and that he should continue to receive Communion, despite opposition from some conservative American bishops to his support for it. ‘abortion.

The Bidens were also greeted by Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

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