Falmouth, England (CNN) — The leaders of the world’s advanced economies will meet this Friday on the Cornish coast for the first time since the global coronavirus pandemic began, welcoming President Joe Biden as a new member who arrived at the G7 with the intention of restoring the traditional American alliances.
With a pandemic across much of the world, a global economy still in shock, and increasing threats from Russia and China, the G7 summit that formally begins this Friday is shaping up to be one of the most important in recent memory.
Biden has heightened those risks, framing the moment as momentous as the years during and after World War II, when the United States, the United Kingdom, and their allies worked together to help the world recover. An army mechanic from that war, Queen Elizabeth II, will join the leaders this Friday night for a reception.
Biden has already used his first overseas trip as president to announce the purchase of new vaccines for the developing world, likening it to American wartime efforts to build tanks and planes. And he sat down for his first face-to-face meeting with Britain’s prime minister in a photo shoot designed to replicate a historic WWII alliance.
He has sought to convey a message of unity after four years of fractured alliances under then-President Donald Trump. And while European leaders sigh in relief for a more traditional American presidency, differences remain between them.
Skepticism also abounds about the durability of Biden’s message promoting democracy over autocracy. The president of the United States has tried to use his new commitment to vaccines as a sign that democracies can deliver results for the world. But events at home, including revelations about the Justice Department’s pursuit of Democrats data and a deadlock in Congress over Biden’s agenda, have undermined his speech.
Biden joins the G7 group
This Friday, Biden addresses the entire G7 group, which comprises the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and the United States.
His day will include the historic “family photo,” a symbolic moment for a president who has long sought a place in the club of world leaders. Biden’s wife, First Lady Jill Biden, said Thursday that her husband had been training for the time being.
“He has been studying for weeks working for today,” he said. He knows most of the leaders who will be here. Joe loves foreign policy. This is his strong suit.
It will later come together for closed-door sessions on recovering from the global pandemic, the main theme of leaders working urgently to lift their nations from the clutches of the worst global health crisis in a generation.
The economy, at the center of the G7 scene
The global economy is at the top of the agenda, with the global tax rate and aid for countries in need on the agenda. These efforts, the White House said, “will forge a fairer and more inclusive global economy” when world leaders meet in Cornwall.
Biden and G7 leaders, the White House said, “will discuss ways to forge a more just, sustainable and inclusive global economy that meets the unique challenges of our time. President Biden and the G7 partners are committed to a global recovery that benefits working and middle-class families at home and around the world. “
The group is expected to announce endorsement for the global minimum tax of at least 15%, a Biden-led overhaul of the global tax system, after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and her finance minister counterparts announced a agreement on the matter earlier this month in London.
On Thursday, Biden framed his announcement that the United States was purchasing 500 million doses of Pfizer vaccine as a similar commitment to America’s involvement in World War II, saying that U.S. values required it to help inoculate the world.
“In times of trouble, Americans reach out to lend a hand. That’s who we are, “said Biden, who described the vaccine announcement as” historic “and cited the tragedies of the pandemic in the United States along with the government’s” Herculean effort. ” to recover.
“The United States will be the arsenal of vaccines in our fight against COVID-19, just as the United States was the arsenal of democracy during World War II,” he said, later recalling the tanks and planes built near the Pfizer plant in Michigan during the war.
“Now a new generation of American men and women … are engaging today’s latest technology to build a new arsenal,” he added.
The UK is a longtime ally, even during the war, and Biden has tried to underscore those historical ties during his time here.
He and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have sought to replicate the historic alliance between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill by signing a new version of the Atlantic Charter, a document signed after the war in an attempt to shape the new world order.
The new document does not mention Russia or China by name, but does mention persistent problems emanating from those countries, including disinformation campaigns and electoral meddling.
“It’s been 80 years since the last one, it’s about time it got updated,” said a senior administration official before the signing, which came during Biden’s personal conversations with Johnson in Cornwall. “The original really described what the post-war world order could and should look like; This new letter will make clear what the next decades of the 21st century can and should look like.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism