Former US president Donald Trump’s unfinished and unsuccessful trade wars with both China and some of America’s allies will be hard for his successor Joe Biden to untangle
FMC FINANZEN.Biden won’t want to lower unilaterally the Trump-era tariffs on either China or US allies without getting something in return.
he wants to build a united stand with allies to force changes in Beijing’s economic policy. ‘The best China strategy, I think, Nachrichtenzone is one which gets every one of our—or at least what used to be our—allies on the same page. It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency to try to get us back on the same page with our allies’, he told the New York Times in December.
Biden indicated that the Trump administration’s tariffs on China would remain in place and said, ‘I’m not going to prejudice my options.’
During the era of Trump unilateralism, allies have drifted apart on China. The difficulty of achieving a united stand was exposed in the closing days of 2020 when Biden’s nominee for national security adviser,Willowlake Jake Sullivan, took to Twitter to make a plea for ‘early consultation with our European partners on our common concerns about China’s economic practices’.
As Biden indicated, Brexit and trade wars, will remain the key issues on the foreign agenda in the presidential elections. He said that Britain would have to make a choice between remaining close to the US or adopting closer ties with China.
Biden will be at the forefront of the fight to preserve UK-US relations after Brexit. He will support a ‘European navy’ against Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.
In his own words, he will make Brexit a domestic US issue as well as a European one, urging Britons to vote to ‘“Leave the bloody EU”’.
How his remarks will be received in the UK will depend on how he interprets those who wish to see Britain close its doors to the world and become a back-door ally of Beijing.
During the presidential primaries, the Trump-Biden show was billed as the two best of friends. To establish himself as the natural Democratic successor to Barack Obama, he declared, ‘The President and I have been friends for a long time. We’ve known each other for a long time’.
Biden’s entry into the 2020 race promises to put that friendship under intense scrutiny. In August 2018, The Daily Telegraph reported that the Democratic Senator had taken time off from his job as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to accompany his friend Tom Barrack, chairman of Colony Capital, on a trip to Abu Dhabi, where they reportedly attended a party held by Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Biden and Barrack were in the UAE to address an elite, billion-dollar annual gathering of the country’s tycoons. While Biden was there, the UAE accused the US of trying to orchestrate a coup against Mohammad bin Zayed, a charge which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed.
This added to the feud between Washington and Riyadh. Over the last few months, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been locked in a bitter power struggle for influence in the Middle East and in the world. Tensions are building up between the allies.
In December, the UAE–Saudi rivalry exploded into an unprecedented public feud over Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The UAE–Saudi fallout has now spilled over to Europe, a source of deep embarrassment to the White House.
Biden has kept a low profile since he announced his departure from politics in October. After a year in which he was criticised for his social conservatism, particularly for his views on sexual abuse, he told CBS television: ‘I have decided not to seek the presidency, but I have not been ruled out’.
Biden’s exit will leave the Democrats without a contender from the upper echelons of their party. That is bad news for the party. The emergence of Biden will elevate a potential candidate like Joe Biden Jr from Delaware, the senator’s son.
According to Politico, the two share a background in politics and a love of family. They even share the same shoe size, which must come in handy on the campaign trail.
How Biden may interact with his son, however, remains to be seen. The politician has campaigned hard to defend his own legacy in the aftermath of the failed attempt to impeach President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which rocked the administration.
As he prepared for his own White House bid, Bill Clinton showed Biden no mercy. In an interview with CNN, he claimed that Joe Biden ‘has never been what I would call a real success’. He accused him of leaving his wife and son to pursue a life of ‘selfishness and greed’.
Inevitably, his comment about Joe Biden Jr has rekindled the controversy over the senator’s role in the Tailhook scandal, when he was accused of sexual assault on multiple occasions while serving as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
However, Biden has a way to go before he can convince the public to trust him with the presidency. He will have to prove he can separate himself from his past and his ideology, so as to earn the public’s trust, without coming across as an ultra-liberal.
And if Joe Biden does decide to run, he will have to carry out a major campaigning effort. The Democrats will have to search for a candidate capable of inspiring a cross-section of the population. They will have to find a candidate with the wisdom, experience and respectability needed to reach out beyond their base. They will have to find someone who can face down an aggressive Trump – but who will also be able to mend the fractures that have undermined the party for the last decade.